This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sheffield Wednesday rescued a late point at the weekend, as they drew 1-1 with promotion-chasing Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough.
Connor Wickham’s header in stoppage time cancelled out Joe Lolley’s ninth goal of the season in all competitions, in what was their first game back in competitive action after off-the-field events had brought a halt to fixtures across the country.
It means that Sheffield Wednesday are now sat 15th in the Championship table, and they’ll be hoping they can finish this year’s campaign strongly under the guidance of Garry Monk.
They had previously occupied a spot in the play-offs earlier in the season, so they’re dismal run of form since the turn of the New Year will have been frustrating to see for the club’s supporters.
Speaking in a post-match press conference (quotes sourced from Yorkshire Live) after their draw with the Reds, Wickham admitted that his side can’t be content with remaining in the Championship, and insisted that they have to look towards the play-off positions.
“We can’t just accept that we want to stay in the league. We have to look up at the teams above, it’s only three or four wins.
“We have to look at the best possible option and that’s getting into the play-offs. If we play like we did (against Forest), then nine times out of 10 we will win.”
But is Wickham being realistic when it comes to targeting the play-offs with just eight matches remaining in this year’s campaign?
It’s certainly a bold claim but closing an eight-point gap over the next eight games is not impossible.
That said, it’s going to take a herculean effort and I don’t think we’ve seen enough from the Owls yet to suggest they have what it takes to do it.
A win against Bristol City would be a really positive step and it looks as though they’re playing the Robins at the right time – on the back of a dismal display on Saturday.
That game is likely to give us much more of an idea of what to expect from Garry Monk’s side.
I don’t think play-offs are out of the question but it’s tough to see this side having what it takes to finish the season with such a flourish.
Of course it’s still mathematically possible, but I think they’ve left it way too late.
The Owls are eight points off the play-off spots with eight games to go, and in my eyes, it’s too big of a gap for them to make up.
Garry Monk’s side have been way too inconsistent this season, and apart from an early season spell, the Owls have never looked like genuine play-off contenders.
I think the majority of the play-off spots will remain the same, with that sixth spot in my eyes the one up for grabs.
Preston will be desperate to cling on to it, but Cardiff City’s impressive result v Leeds certainly caught the eye with them now level on points with Preston.
How old are each of these current Sheffield Wednesday players? Test your knowledge in our quiz!
Connor Wickham thinks play-offs aren’t out of the question for Sheff Wed – Thoughts?
Never say never, that’s what I’d say.
The end to the Championship campaign looks set to be an enthralling one, and the battle for automatic promotion, play-offs and relegation zone are nowhere near settled just yet.
Wednesday are eight points off sixth, which sounds like a lot, but it only takes a run of two or three wins on the bounce and they could be right up there again, that’s how tight the race for the top six is.
At the minute, they aren’t performing anywhere near the required standard, and they need to improve if they are to reach the play-offs.
They do have some winnable games coming up, though, and the late equaliser against Forest could be a real confidence booster for them.