Former Sheffield Wednesday man Matt Hamshaw believes his former club have nothing to fear ahead of their second season in the Championship.
Hamshaw played for the Owls between 1998 and 2005 after coming through the ranks, and in that time he played three seasons in the second tier.
He says that despite the arrival of teams dropping down from the Premier League armed with inflated parachute payments, Wednesday should not be intimidated.
He said: “A lot of people say that the Championship is miles away from ten years ago but I have to disagree.
“I still think the standard is the same as when I played in it.
“During that period there was still quality players plying their trade such as Andy Cole, Damien Duff and Shaun Wright-Phillips.
“The division has always been strong so I don’t buy into it when people say it’s a world away from where it was.”
Next season will see QPR, Reading and Wigan Athletic enter the league armed with superior finances.
Nevertheless, 31-year old Hamshaw says that Wednesday can compete when it comes to on-the-pitch performances.
He added: “I saw them (Wednesday) a few times last year and they played well in parts.
“It’s all about getting a good start though. If they can hit the ground running and be there or thereabouts after 10 games then they’ve always got a chance come the end of the season.
The former Owls winger is currently a youth coach at Rotherham United but still stays in touch with non-playing staff at S6.
One of his closest friends from his playing days was Steven Haslam, who came through the Hillsborough academy at the same time.
Haslam recently re-joined the Owls in a coaching capacity and Hamshaw says he was pleased to see his close friend return to the club.
He said: “I was chuffed for Steve when I found out.
“It’s good to see the club are recruiting ex-players to help bring through the next generation.”