Column: Revised prediction - Sheffield Wednesday can push top two

Fernando Forestieri
Fernando Forestieri
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Some 14,200 fans have already put their money where their mouth is on Sheffield Wednesday’s Premier League ambitions.

For all the match price protests, season tickets are up around 2,000 – so far – under a series of new long-term categories.

This column has learned never to bet on anything in football, having made its share of foolish predictions.

Happily, Wednesday’s promotion challenge hasn’t been one of them.

After a spot of fence-sitting at the start of the season, I was asked directly back in the Autumn: “Where do you think the team will finish?”

The question came from, shall we say, a very senior figure at the club.

My immediate reply: “Top six.”

Not because it was what the questioner wanted to hear – people in football need and deserve honesty – but because you could see momentum building from real quality already in the squad, which has been enhanced considerably since.

Ask me again now and I’d have to go higher, maybe stopping short of top two – but only just.

Half a dozen points is a gap the Championship’s fastest-climbing form team is capable of bridging.

Let’s not jinx it by going any further. But Carlos Carvalhal’s dispassionate reaction to a third-gear cruise to a 4-0 victory over ten-man Brentford was a clear and cold declaration of intent: “We can do another step up.

“We can do better than that and, after a week’s training, we will do at Preston on Saturday.”