Sheffield Wednesday: Any three from 10 as Mandaric eyes top-flight bid

Owls skipper Glenn Loovens with Tom Lees
Owls skipper Glenn Loovens with Tom Lees
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Up to 10 clubs are competing for promotion from the Championship this season.

That is the verdict of Sheffield Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric, who remains locked in takeover discussions with one serious group.

Milan Mandaric.'Rochdale v Sheffield Wednesday.  FA Cup fourth Round. Spotland Stadium.   25 January 2014.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Milan Mandaric.'Rochdale v Sheffield Wednesday. FA Cup fourth Round. Spotland Stadium. 25 January 2014. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Saturday’s 2-0 triumph at Nottingham Forest moved the Owls up to ninth in the table, four points off the top six. Thirteen points separate leaders Bournemouth and 10th-placed Blackburn Rovers.

Mandaric, who has revealed the Owls are hoping to sign a couple of new players before the transfer window shuts on February 2, told The Star: “There are probably 10 teams fighting for the top six and we are one of them.

“I’m not saying we are going to make the play-offs and get into the Premier League but everyone recognises that is our ultimate goal.”

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Serbian-born businessman Mandaric, who took over at Hillsborough in December 2010, said he is “not surprised” at how Wednesday have done under head coach Stuart Gray during the 2014/15 campaign.

“I don’t think many teams have outplayed us this year,” he said. “There were too many draws in the first half of the season but we were a little unlucky.

“We are a very solid team. That gives you success. It is not always money that gets you success. It is how you spend that money.

“I’m absolutely delighted with how we are doing and I’m not surprised. It was just a matter of everything gelling and playing as a team.

“Stuart [Gray] is doing a good job. I’m very proud of how we are doing and I’m very happy for our supporters.”

Several Premier League clubs have been linked with Owls goalkeeper Keiren Westwood and defender Tom Lees in recent weeks. Only Middlesbrough have conceded fewer goals than Gray’s side in the second-tier of English football, with Westwood and Lees playing integral roles in the club recording 14 shut-outs in all competitions.

Mandaric stressed: “We don’t want to sell any players. We are not selling a club.

“Our agenda is different. We want to take the club forward and without Keiren [Westwood] or Tom [Lees] it would be very difficult so I’m not interested in selling players.”

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