Q&A With Sheffield Wednesday

Ahead of the 114th meeting between Sheffield Wednesday and Bolton, we have got the views of an Owls supporter.

Wanderers go into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Leicester City on Tuesday night, while Wednesday were beaten 3-2 by Charlton Athletic on Easter Monday.

In our latest edition of Q&A, we have spoken to Eddie Hoyland (@sausagearms) - a dedicated supporter of 31 years who lists Atdhe Nuhiu as his favourite member of the current Wednesday squad.

Ahead of Saturday's game, Eddie shares his views on which Wanderers player he would like to see at Hillsborough on a permanent basis, why Chris Maguire is likely to be the Owls' biggest threat and why the visiting Trotters fans will be heading back to Lancashire disappointed after the game.

Q: Since Stuart Gray was appointed as Wednesday manager, things have picked up. Why do you think this is?

A: Two words - 'team spirit'. The staff at Hillsborough were very tight-lipped about how morale was during Dave Jones' final few weeks in command, but the public pronouncements from senior players like Chris Kirkland about how much of a family the squad is now and how he now wishes to stay in Sheffield 6 speaks volumes.

While Gray may still be somewhat awkward with the media, he's clearly a player's coach and the transformation in self-belief and players playing for each other has been evident.

Q: Both teams have had what can be classed as very average seasons. How do Wednesday fans feel about this and did you expect more from Bolton?

A: Even in this crazy division, it's incredibly hard to recover from a shocking start and that's what both of us had this time out. Of course, we expected Bolton to be amongst the top six rather than the bottom box, but there was expectation at Hillsborough as well coming into the season.

Credit to both clubs and their staff for being able to put what must have been a gut-punch of realisation come Christmas aside and grafting their way to respectability, if not glory.

Q: Who has been the best team to visit Hillsborough this season?

A: We always seem to come unstuck against Watford, but, like many of our defeats this term, that one was largely of our own making.

Wigan Athletic are the most complete side to have come to Hillsborough this season. It's incredible that they haven't been right at the top with their pace, movement and vision, although defeat against Burnley in our opening home game now doesn't feel like the disappointment it did at the time.

Q: Who will be your Player of the Season this year?

A: I can't look past truly the most surprising candidate of the season in Chris Maguire, who entered the season even less than a bit-part player and ends it as not only the first name on the team sheet, but also the most likely to create a goal of an assist in the Owls side.

Honourable mentions also to Liam Palmer, who has matured from clear youth prospect to true Championship utility man, and the always-excellent Kieran Lee, who almost never makes a bad decision as the water-carrier of the team.

The late season form of giant Atdhe Nuhiu probably comes too late for him to be in consideration, but he is definitely one to watch for this game and next season.

Q: If you could sign one Bolton player, who would it be?

A: I'm a sucker for both wingers and exotic talent in this World Cup year, so I'm going to go for the truly excellent Lee Chung-Yong.

He's one of the players who truly has buried the fallacy that Asian players are too lightweight for the footballing elite.

Q: Finally, what is your prediction for Saturday's game?

A: I'm almost glad to describe Wednesday as a 'solid mid-table side' after recent years and the like sides of that ilk we tend to win handsomely and lose embarrassingly without any rhyme or reason.

Last time out we beat ourselves, 3-2 against Charlton, so, unfortunately for the Trotters, I fully expect us to turn in a great performance and a 2-0 win.

Not that I'll be there to watch it, as my son's under-7 football team are inexplicably walking the Middlesbrough team out in their game against Barnsley, so I will have to settle for a much inferior venue, crowd and standard of football.

I hope your readers enjoy their annual trip to Sheffield all the same.

Burnden Aces would like to thank Eddie for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more of his views by following him on Twitter - @sausagearms.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
15 Shrewsbury Town 26 30
16 Cambridge United 25 30
17 Bolton Wanderers 25 29
18 Lincoln City 25 28
19 Fleetwood Town 25 28
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Who is Bolton's 2020/21 Player of the Year?
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