The Reds' Head Coach spoke ahead of Saturday's short trip to Hillsborough and made it clear that he's expecting the best version of Tony Pulis' Owls when the whistle blows at 3pm.
With games continuing to come thick and fast in the Sky Bet Championship, Valérien's use of his squad is very important to him.
He had good news on the health of one injured player and is looking forward to the challenge posed by the division's bottom club this weekend.
“We don’t have any new injuries in the squad, but Jordan Williams should return to training next week which is good news for us. But we go into tomorrow with the same squad available.
“Sheffield are a new challenge for us, another tough game.
“It was a good result against Wycombe. It was similar to Birmingham, and it shows that we learned from what happened against Cardiff. But our focus quickly moved onto Saturday and our next opportunity to get three points.”
Even without their reduced six-point deduction for breaking spending rules, Wednesday would be struggling this season. They come into this fixture a massive 13 points behind the Reds.
But Ismaël isn't interested in any of their perceived issues and is only preparing for the best version of the Owls, and notes the quality players available to the Hillsborough club, regardless of form.
He explained, telling us: “They are a good team. They have a lot of quality players but are in a struggle right now. But the likes of Kadeem Harris, Barry Bannan and Callum Paterson are big players with proven ability.
“They have a very good coach, an experienced guy.
“We have prepared for the best of Sheffield Wednesday and not focused on their current ranking.
“It’s not my job though to comment on their style or their current situation. I just focus on preparing my team to go there and get the result we need.”
It's been 11 years since the Reds last beat their near-neighbours.
A 1-0 victory at Hillsborough in 2009 sealed a league double that season, but it's been slim pickings since then.
Whilst the past can't be altered, the gaffer wants to change that sequence but admits without fans in attendance, this won't be a normal derby clash.
“We want to change that.” He said, when reminded of our recent history against Sheffield Wednesday.
“It’s not been a good trend over the years, and now we can do our bit and make a difference for our supporters.
“Without them in the stadium it is of course not the same. It’s not the same atmosphere in what would usually be a big local derby.
“But we will be giving a big fight.”