Q&A With Sheffield Wednesday

  • January 12, 2016 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/9b029

Victoria Wood, podcaster for Wednesday Week, answers our questions ahead of the 118th meeting between Sheffield Wednesday and Bolton at Hillsborough.

Wanderers go into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw at Eastleigh on Saturday, while the Owls were 2-1 winners over Fulham on the same afternoon - both of which were part of FA Cup third round weekend.

In our latest edition of Q&A, Victoria (@Victoria1867) shares her views on Wednesday's chances of ending a 16-year exile from the Premier League, the resurrection of Barry Bannan's career, as well as reaction to news that Mark Davies is closing in on a switch to the Steel City club.

Q: Sheffield Wednesday have impressed this season, making it into the last eight of the League Cup and, on Saturday, progressing into the round four of the FA Cup. With just two points separating them from a play-off position, is the club capable of ending a 16-year exile from the Premier League by clinching promotion in May?

A: Oh, it would be nice to think so. I personally would be pleased with just inside/outside the top-six.

Promotion would be great but I don't want to yo-yo. If we're going to go up, we need to do it with a sustainable squad and, as it stands, I don't think anyone could guarantee that.

As a fanbase, we've had a huge chip on our shoulder for the last 16 years. There seems to be an opinion that we have some divine right to be in the Premier League. We don't and we were finally beginning to accept that. Now we're good and it's almost creeping back!

Either way, it's been a great season so far and definitely brought in some of the best players, performances and goals that I've ever seen in my time as an Owl.

Q: Barry Bannan spent the second half of last season on loan at Bolton, who failed to make the deal permanent due to their well-publicised financial problems. Now at Wednesday, and fresh from agreeing a new three-and-a-half year contract, just what has he brought to the table this campaign?

A: He's just unreal; the guy is a magician. He finds space and opportunities that you genuinely had no idea existed. He's a hard worker, excellent on the attack and seems to really care about pulling the shirt on.

He's such an intelligent player and I genuinely hope we can keep him at Hillsborough for a long time. As I answer these questions, he's still not officially extended his deal with us. Hopefully he will do soon and they're saving the news story to push our last season ticket offers in January.

Q: Wednesday are believed to be closing in on the signing of Wanderers midfielder Mark Davies, with a cut-price fee of around £700,000 agreed between the two clubs. Should a deal be concluded in time, Davies could face his present employers on Tuesday evening. What is your opinion on Davies and how have fans, in general, reacted to the imminent transfer?

A: There's no doubt that he's a very good player and would make a great addition to our squad. At present, though, we have a number of good centre midfield players that I can't see giving up their place very easily.

Let's not forget that we have Sam Hutchinson too, albeit he's covering defence at the moment.

If I were Mark Davies and there was an offer with a concrete promise of first-team football, then I think I'd look elsewhere. If he feels he can push Bannan, Alex Lopez, Hutchinson, Jose Semedo (questionable), Lewis McGugan and Kieran Lee out - then give it a go. It's always good to have competition.

Q: With Davies and Zach Clough headed towards the exit door at Macron Stadium, who remains that you think could pose a significant threat to the Owls' defence at Hillsborough?

A: In typical ex-Owl fashion, Madine will ruffle some feathers. He's a funny one really - opinion on him is really mixed. He scored a lot of important goals for us during his time at Wednesday, but many felt that his antics off the field were unacceptable and he lost a lot of love from the terraces.

Obviously, if we haven't signed Davies, or if it looks like he'll be going elsewhere - he'll have a point to prove.

Q: Bolton travel across the Pennines with a record of just two wins from 32 and none on the road since last April. Following Saturday's fortunate draw at Eastleigh in the FA Cup, what do you make of the job Neil Lennon has on his hands - is he fortunate to remain in charge, or does our financial situation provide him with a defensible excuse?

A: I really do feel for the Trotters. Growing up, I always kept an eye on your results and even had a few shirts in my collection. To see a club go through such financial agony is just awful as football fan and any true fan of the game wouldn't wish that on any team.

Lennon is fortunate to still be in post, but he can thank and blame your finances for that. He can thank them as, realistically, you can't afford to sack him and he can blame them as a reason for not turning the season around.

I really hope there's some light at the end of the tunnel for you. You're a club that I have a lot of love and respect for.

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

A: Despite the amount I do respect you and want you to get out of this situation, I also want to get into that top-six.

3-0 Wednesday.

Burnden Aces would like to thank Victoria for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more from her on Twitter - @Victoria1867 - or by checking out the Wednesday Week podcast on YouTube.

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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