RYAN Lowe is adamant there is still a long way to go in the League One title race despite Charlton Athletic enjoying a nine-point cushion at the top of the table.
Sheffield Wednesday entertain Walsall tonight, kick-off 7.45pm, seeking a fourth league win on the spin and striker Lowe feels the Addicks can still be caught.
“It is not mathematically impossible,” he said. “We have got to believe.
“I was in the same position last year with Bury in League Two. Chesterfield were running away with it [the league] and were 10 points clear. They slipped up and up and we managed to finish second and we were only a few points behind them in the end.
“There was a time when if we had won and they had lost we could have won the league. We are aiming as high as we possibly can and we will see where that takes us.”
New Owls chief Dave Jones is urging his troops to keep cranking up the pressure on Charlton, who host Yeovil Town tonight having gone three matches without a victory.
“It is going to be a tough ask [winning the championship] for ourselves and all the other clubs chasing but we can’t give up on it because if you take your foot off the gas and they do falter and you don’t capitalise on
it, that’s when you will kick yourself,” said Jones, who will be without the services of Reda Johnson who has an ankle knock. “We will keep working hard and try to chase them down.”
On home soil, Walsall have taken points off all of the top three in the league but have triumphed just two times on their travels during the 2011/12 campaign.
Two goals in time added on from Emanuel Smith and Claude Gnakpa saw the Saddlers beat Wednesday 2-1 on Boxing Day and Lowe, who scored the opener on the hour mark, says they paid the price for a below-par display.
“It was horrible,” he said. “I came off thinking I had scored the winner and then before we knew it we had lost.
“They beat us and it was probably a bit sloppy on our behalf at their place.
“When you look back, that is the sort of game which we could have won. It is pointless looking back now. These things happen.
“When we lost at Stevenage, that was a painful defeat. We just want to win as many games as we possibly can until the end of the season.”
Lowe added: “Every game is a battle now. There are no ‘gimmes’ in this league and we know we have to be at our best to beat Walsall. They have won only seven all season but we know it is going to be tough.”
As long as Gary Madine recovers from a dead leg he picked up at Notts County, the club’s top scorer is expected to play alongside Lowe again tonight. The duo have scored two goals apiece in their last three matches and Lowe is happy with how the partnership is developing.
“It is going well and we have gelled together,” he said. “Things have clicked for Gary and I and we are both doing okay. We are both getting on the scoresheet.
“It is not just about me and Gary, though. It is about the whole team.
“We have got other strikers here in Chris [O’Grady] and Clinton [Morrison], and Jermaine Johnson has come back and is fit too.”
Lowe has plundered 14 goals for the Shakers and the Owls this season.
“I would like to get more but I just want to keep winning,” he added.
Meanwhile, midfielder John Bostock has been recalled by Tottenham. The 20-year-old was due to stay at Hillsborough on a temporary basis until the end of the season. Bostock made four appearances for Wednesday but has not appeared for them since the defeat to Chesterfield last month and has not featured in the squad following the arrival of Jones on March 2.
Teams and ref
OWLS (possible): Bywater; Buxton, R Jones, Batth, Bennett; M Jones, Lines, Semedo, Antonio; Lowe, Madine or O’Grady (4-4-2).
SADDLERS (possible): Grof; Beevers, Lancashire, Butler, Saddler; Nicholls, Cuvelier, Mantom, Hurst; Macken, Ledesma (4-4-2).
Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear): This will be the first time the official has taken charge of an Owls match since they lost 3-1 at home to Brentford almost a year ago. Has given out 82 bookings and four red cards in 29 matches this term.