Sheffield Wednesday: Ex-Owl Jacques hopes for double promotion

Jacques Maghoma

Jacques Maghoma

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Nothing would please Jacques Maghoma more than watching the Owls return to English football’s top table.

Despite leaving Hillsborough earlier this summer, the Democratic Republic of Congo international intends to keep a close eye on Wednesday’s fortunes next season.

Maghoma remains close pals with several members of Owls’ first-team squad and has wished the club well ahead of the 2015/16 season.

And the ideal scenario for the forward would be for Wednesday and Birmingham City, his new employers, to both be in the promotion mix next term.

“I hope the team will give the fans what they have been longing and craving for and that’s Premier League football,” he told The Star. “The fans want the club to be contenders in the Championship and to be fighting it out for promotion and I hope that will be the case.

“When I left the club, I didn’t go with any bitterness. I want the club to do well and hopefully in the next couple of years we will see them back in the Premier League.

“But the Championship is so competitive now with teams coming down from the Premier League with the parachute payments. It will be hard. Every team in the league believes they can challenge to get into the play-offs or finish in the top two.

“It will be a tough season but hopefully Birmingham and Wednesday can get there, as long as Birmingham finish first!”

Maghoma accepts Wednesdayites only saw fleeting glimpses of his talent during his two-year Hillsborough stay.

Now the 27-year-old is looking to impress at St Andrew’s, having penned a two-year deal following his release by the Owls.

The former Tottenham Hotspurs trainee is delighted to be reunited with Blues boss Gary Rowett, who he played under for four years at Burton Albion. After a sluggish start, which included a humiliating 8-0 home loss to Bournemouth, the Blues’ form markedly improved, leading to them finishing 10th last term, three places above Wednesday.

Maghoma said: “After leaving Wednesday it was almost perfect that I’ve been able to come back and work under him [Rowett] again at a big club like Birmingham and seeing how well they have done since he took over.

“He was a big influence. At Burton he kind of raised my game to another level which helped me get my move into the Championship. Gary knows the type of character that I am and he was one of the main factors behind me coming here.

“I’ve got a really good feeling about next season.”

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