Sheffield Wednesday: Fit-again Almen Abdi targets promotion with Owls

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Almen Abdi has set his sights on helping Sheffield Wednesday secure promotion to the Premier League after recovering from a knee injury.

The 30-year-old was forced to sit-out the final three months of the 2016/17 season after undergoing knee surgery in London. His last Owls outing came in their Yorkshire derby defeat at Leeds United, meaning he played no part in the club's play-off campaign.

A number of injuries blighted Abdi's first season at Hillsborough, limiting him to just 11 starts and five substitute appearances.

But the former Watford midfielder says he has worked on his fitness during the close season. He has been undergoing his own personal training regime back in Zurich in preparation for pre-season, which begins on Monday.

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Speaking to the FPA Fairplay Agency‏, Abdi said: "I was sidelined during our push for promotion. Injuries happen. It is part of a footballer's life. You need to remain focused and positive.

"My priority is getting back to full fitness and getting a lot of games under my belt. And who knows? Maybe we can finally make that cut to the Premier League."

Wednesday finished fourth in the second-tier but missed out on promotion, losing to Huddersfield Town on penalties in the semi-finals of the knockout tournament. The Terriers ended their 45-year top-flight exile by defeating Reading in the final.

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"Last season, we've shown it to everyone that we've got Premier League potential," said Abdi. "Sadly, we didn't make it but that's football - we were simply unlucky.

"The situation reminded me of my experience at Watford where we lost in the Play-Off Final.

"With Sheffield Wednesday this past season, I couldn't be there to help, I was forced to watch it all unfold from the stands.

"It was disappointing to witness our play-off exit. I think we were the better team.

"We would have been worthy of winning the semi-final. When you look at Huddersfield now, that could have been us. What if...? But it's all hypothetical. We need to look forward now.

"We have got a tremendous squad and we played some really great football at times last season. We can still do better and hopefully next season will see us gain promotion."

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