Owls target big uplift in top six push

Ambitious: Gary Megson hopes that good results will come soon.
Ambitious: Gary Megson hopes that good results will come soon.
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RECORDS from the last five seasons in League One indicate the scale of improvement that Wednesday will probably have to achieve if they are to stand a chance of promotion.

The lowest total to earn a top-six place in that period is 71 points.

To reach that, the Owls need 35 points from the remaining 19 games. They have managed only 36 so far from 27.

The lowest total for automatic promotion in the last five seasons is 79.

So is more than just bookmakers’ odds that suggest they are up against it.

Milan Mandaric and Gary Megson will not give up of course and it will be a terrific feat if the club are in the Championship next season.

The task sounds easier when you look at it this way: with 19 games to go, there are 57 points to play for.

The required finishing total is not certain but the recent trend does give a rough indication.

With Wednesday being eight points below the play-off positions, that may not sound like a lot to make up, though the 14 points between them and second spot does appear to be a gulf.

But they are only 13th in the table (pushed down a place by Leyton Orient’s 3-0 win against Swindon on Tuesday).

Even if Wednesday start winning, it does not mean that all the teams above them are going to start slipping up.

Mandaric refuses to give up on promotion, rightly so, and it was a major factor in the decision to axe Alan Irvine and bring in Megson.

The new boss recognises that his chairman and vice-chairman Paul Aldridge know their football, and the managerial change was made because the club’s League One campaign was faltering.

Megson has said: “Hopefully we can hit the ground running and get results quickly.”

But he has also hinted that he feels more than a quick fix is needed. “This is not a club that’s just not been going well for maybe six months; it’s been 15 years of slow decline, and even when went it went up under Paul Sturrock it was seen as half a step towards where it really should be, which I would agree with.

“We are where we are and we have to get on with it.”

FACTFILE

Final League One top-sixes in the last five seasons:

2009-10: Norwich 95 points, Leeds 86, Millwall 85, Charlton 84, Birmingham 82, Huddersfield 80.

2008-09: Leicester 96, Peterborough 89, MK Dons 87, Leeds 84, Millwall 82, Scunthorpe 76.

2007-08: Swansea 92, Forest 82, Doncaster 80, Carlisle 80, Leeds 76, Southend 76.

2006-07: Scunthorpe 91, Bristol C 85, Blackpool 83, Forest 82, Yeovil 79, Oldham 75.

2005-06: Southend 82, Colchester 79, Brentford 76, Huddersfield 73, Barnsley 72, Swansea 71.