Speaking exclusively to Football League World, Dean Windass has said that Sheffield Wednesday can only be considered favourites for League One next season, if they keep the majority of their current squad.
Wednesday’s relegation from the Championship was confirmed on the final day of this season following a 3-3 draw with Derby County.
However, the Hillsborough club would have avoided the drop into the third-tier at the Rams expense, had they not been handed a six-point deduction earlier in the season for breaching financial fair play regulations.
Even so, Windass believes that Wednesday will only be favourites to seal an immediate return to the Championship next season, if they keep the majority of their current squad, including his son Josh, at Hillsborough.
But with a number of players out of contract this summer, Windass is seemingly unsure about whether Wednesday will be able to do that.
When asked whether it would be right to consider Wednesday as favourites to win League One next season, or whether those expectations are done simply to the size of the club and their support, the one-time Owls loanee told Football League World: “I think that’s just because of the fanbase, at the end of the day I don’t know, and the supporters don’t know, what players will be there next year.
“Barry Bannan, will he be there next year? He’s just signed a new contract but that’s the situation they’re in now. Adam Reach, I think his contract’s up, will he be there?
“With the players that they’ve got now, they’ll be firm favourites, but that won’t happen I don’t think.”
Indeed, Windass also believes that manager Darren Moore will be keen to make his own impression on the squad this summer, as he added: “I think that Darren will try to bring his own players. There are players who are out of contract, or who Darren didn’t think was good enough for his standards, then obviously that’s just football, that’s the way it is.
“I think he’ll bring his own players in and then we’ll see what happens. But if they do – which I don’t think they will do – keep the majority of the squad then of course they’ll be favourites to go back up.”