We could have made it easier for ourselves, we could have guaranteed our safety with just a draw against Peterborough United, but no, in true Sheffield Wednesday fashion, our relegation battle will go down to the last day.
Granted, it’s our first season back in the Championship, a relegation scrap was always going to be on the cards for us, however, an impressive start to our campaign created dreams of grandeur for many of our fans, and more was expected from us.
We went into the game with the Posh knowing that a draw would be enough to go into our final game, at home against Middlesborough, with the scent of League One still lingering under our noses.
We’ve had some ups and downs this season, we’ve got one big up or one big down left to come, although I don’t think that being in a relegation scrap is detrimental to the club, it’s a fight that I always expected us to be in.
In our side at present we have a nice mix of youth and experience, a squad that is probably far too strong to be struggling in a relegation battle, but we’ve also had a number of loanees through, especially up front, which doesn’t help with regards to continuity.
However, in our chairman, Milan Mandaric, and our current gaffer, Dave Jones, we’ve got some stability, something we’ve been lacking in recent years, and that is something that bodes well for us, something that can help us going forward.
Last season we enjoyed the beauty of gaining promotion from League One, snatching it from the grasp of our bitterest rivals, United, this year we’re enduring the difficulties of playing in what I believe to be the most competitive division in world football.
Next year, should we survive this one final test at home to Boro, we can try and build in the off-season. We can add to our current squad, add to Mandaric and Jones, and build a team that can aim for a comfortable mid-table position in our 2013/2014 campaign, or maybe even more.
We’ve got the spine of our team. Chris Kirkland has been quality for us this season, as have a number of defenders and midfielders. However, we need a regular striker that we actually own. All of our loanee forwards this year have done some good, whether little or large, although none of them have been real Sheffield Wednesday players.
If we can somehow managed to sign Leroy Lita up on a long-term deal that would be amazing. I wasn’t sure about him when he first came through to us, but the lad has done well, and I think he’s a good quality Championship striker, he’d be a great signing.
Other than that I think that we just need to keep on doing what we’re doing. We’ve got a manager who knows what his doing, a squad who look to have a good sense of team spirit, and a fan base that really are second to none. We’ll be alright.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried, there’s a hell of a lot at stake for us this weekend. However, I know that, whether win, draw or lose, myself, along with tens of thousands of other Wednesdayites, will continue to wear the colours and support our team next season. Regardless of what division we’re in.
It’s at this stage of the season that I really miss home. That I really miss not being in the stands with those tens of thousands of other Wednesdayites knowing that, either way, we’d leave Hillsborough singing. That’s what we do at Wednesday isn’t it. Man, I wish I could be there.
I think we’ll stay up. Hell, I hope we’ll stay up. However supporting a side in the midst of a relegation battle has it’s merits. It separates the true fans from the glory hunters and it shows you that, regardless of what happens with your team, there’s always going to be those who stick by them.
On a side note, congratulations to Lewis Buxton on winning our Player of the Year. While I would have gone for Chris Kirkland, he does deserve it, he’s been excellent.