Daniel Pudil has admitted that a love of his adopted city has been an important factor in his determination to rejoin Sheffield Wednesday.
After a year on loan at the Owls, Czech international Pudil made no secret of his wish to return to the Steel City and make permanent a move to Wednesday.
And that wish came true this week with the 30-year-old finally signing a two-year contract, along with fellow former Watford star Almen Abdi.
Prague-born Pudil has settled perfectly into life in Sheffield, regularly posting pictures on social media of he and his family enjoying the city and that, aside from his impressive year on the pitch at Hillsborough that made Wednesday his number one choice.
“My son settled down very easily in school and found friends,” said Pudil. “I didn’t want to shuffle him again so he had to find a new school and friends.
“Ever since the (Play-Off) final, all I have been thinking about is coming back to Sheffield and staying here for a few more years.”
Now that he has agreed a new contract, Pudil is aiming to go one better than last year and fire Sheffield Wednesday back into the Premier League.
The left back realises that this season will be completely different; expectations are higher amongst supporters, Carlos Carvalhal’s side are no longer a surprise package, and with cash-rich teams like Newcastle United, Norwich City and Aston Villa coming down from the top flight it will be even more difficult to grab a place in the top six, let alone an automatic promotion spot in the top two.
Two of those three, Villa and Norwich, take up Wednesday’s first two fixtures, representing a difficult kick off to the campaign.
“We know this season will be much harder than the last one. The expectations will be a little higher from the fans. I believe if they keep believing in us they can push us just like they did last season. If they stay right behind us, I believe we can do it all again.
He added: “We know it is going to be a hard season with the Premier League clubs coming down. It will be an interesting season.
“The minimum target must be to be in the top six. We have to do it.
“We have to go game by game like we did last season and not think too much about the future.
“We have to try and make a good start. It won’t be easy against Norwich or Aston Villa. If we win can do well in those games, it will give us big confidence.”