Sheffield Wednesday loanee Lewis Wing has lauded Owls fans for their support this season, admitting that his team had let them down recently as he spoke to Yorkshire Live.
The South Yorkshire outfit managed to win an impressive 10 points from a possible 12 in their opening four league games of the 2021/22 campaign, but have been victorious in just three of their 12 following matches since then.
This has caused their decline to eighth in the third-tier table, an underwhelming position for a side that were plying their trade in the Championship last term and recruited well in the summer to recover from early-summer turbulence.
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Turning draws into wins has been the key sticking point for the Owls this term, going unbeaten in their previous five league games but drawing four of these fixtures in this mini-run and their failure to keep clean sheets has contributed to this.
They face a formidable Plymouth Argyle side on Sunday afternoon in the first round of the FA Cup, a tricky tie for a side that will be keen to rest some of their key men but ensure they get through to the next round of the competition.
The Pilgrims currently sit in second place and have established themselves as surprise promotion contenders amid all the noise about the likes of Wednesday, Sunderland, Charlton Athletic and Ipswich Town, all of whom currently sit below Ryan Lowe’s men.
Wing believes the Owls have the advantage of a 12th man in their supporters though, saying to Yorkshire Live: “I love the place. I have seen how big the club is since I have come here. The fanbase is massive.
“It is a big club and we are hopefully going in the right direction to get the club back in the Championship.
“The fans are fantastic and we have let them down quite a lot recently. It was nice to reward them with that win.”
If Darren Moore’s side do achieve their aim of being promoted back to the second tier at the first time of asking, it would be no surprise to see Wing sign for Wednesday permanently because he seems to have settled in at Hillsborough very well and looks at home with his current teammates.
He may not have been involved in recent games as much, but he’s still a key figure in South Yorkshire and someone that could help in their promotion push with his Championship pedigree.
At 26, there’s still plenty of football left in the tank for the midfielder and in the end, his future could be decided by the Middlesbrough board.
Sam Morsy was told that those higher up wanted to sell him to Ipswich Town in the summer – and after increasing the amount of pressure on their wage bill with a flurry of signings in the summer – there may not be room for Wing when he returns.
At this stage, it looks as though he’s more likely to end up at Wednesday than stay at Middlesbrough, although whether he returns to the former on the expiration of his loan spell could depend on their league status.
The 26-year-old will have ambitions of playing in the Championship – but it remains to be seen whether he can get there with Moore’s men. Martin Payero may keep him out of the starting 11 at his parent club.