SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: I’m with chairman Milan in supporting the Blades

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IT seems that the general consensus at Hillsborough is that it would be nice to see United joining the Owls in the Championship next season.

It’s not just a case of being magnanimous in victory, as the same opinion was being expressed by Dave Jones and players before the outcome of the chase for second place was known.

Now Milan Mandaric has stuck out his neck a bit further than that by saying not only does he want the Blades to go up but he thinks they will do it.

After what I’ve heard from Unitedite pals, he’s more confident than they are.

It was a sickener for them to see their team not win any of the last three games and lose out to the Owls on the last Saturday of the season, and now comes an awkward looking two-leg semi-final against Stevenage.

I once said in this column that if Wednesday lost second spot to United and ended up in the play-offs, the Owls would be the team I would least like to face if I was one of the other qualifiers.

What I meant to add back then was that if I was the Owls then the Borough would be the team I would want to avoid - not least because they did the double over Wednesday in pretty convincing fashion.

Official Wednesday goodwill towards the local rivals who now have Stevenage in their path leads to an inevitable question for all Owls fans: “Do you want United to go up or not?”

Opinion seems to be divided.

Those in favour point to the continuation of derbies and healthy rivalry between the clubs, which makes the season more interesting. It also means a bigger imprint by Sheffield on the national football map.

Those against will be voting from instinct and tribalism.

Wednesday used to sing a song from the 60s, to the tune of the Kinks’ Dead End Street, which had the line: “What are we living for? To see United in Division Four.” I am sure Unitedites had something similar.

How many Wednesday fans watching the Stevenage game on telly tonight will be able to stop themselves from cheering if the home team score?

I think it’s too big a stretch of the imagination for Owls supporters to cheer if United score. But I think there are plenty, now the job is done and dusted at Hillsborough, who will not mind if United make it.

From my point of view, it is right that Mandaric, as a statesmanlike figure, should wish the Blades all the best.

I too hope that they do it and the fine job done by Danny Wilson and Frank Barlow is rewarded.

The Sheffield football scene can only benefit from good relations between the clubs and healthy rivalry between supporters, and the higher the division the better.

Nobody can blame Owls fans for wringing every bit of pleasure out of the promotion feat, the awe-inspiring atmosphere of Hillsborough last Saturday, and the afterglow of the last week.

It was a high for Miguel Llera, after his spells with three different clubs in Spain, and MK Dons, Charlton and Blackpool, for whom his only apearances was as a sub against Wednesday in the Carling Cup in August. From September to November he was on loan at Brentford, and he found it a bind having to travel back and forth every week between Blackpool and London.

Someone asked me the other day if he’s out of contract. The answer is no. He joined the Owls on loan from Blackpool in November, but he was signed on a free in January, on a contract that runs to 2013.