Sheffield Wednesday legend Nilsson urges Class of 2016 to seize the moment

Former Sheffield Wednesday defender Roland Nilsson at The Class of 91 Reunion Event at Magna
Former Sheffield Wednesday defender Roland Nilsson at The Class of 91 Reunion Event at Magna
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Owls legend Roland Nilsson has challenged the class of 2016 to hold their nerve in the race for the Premier League.

After finishing sixth in the regular campaign, Wednesday booked their ticket for the end-of-season lottery. They stand three matches away from going up.

With a new broadcast deal coming into place in 2016/17, promotion is estimated to be worth a minimum of £100m.

Nilsson, regarded as one of the best right-back’s in Wednesday’s history, is desperate to see the club competing at the highest level of English football again.

He said: “I have always followed Wednesday’s results ever since I left the club. It is good to see them doing well this year and that they have got a chance of getting promoted.

“It would be great for the city and fans after 16 years if they could go up. I’m crossing my fingers that Wednesday will do it.

“It is not easy because every team wants to play in the Premier League. When you have a good year, you have to make the most of it.”

The former Sweden international, a key member of the Owls’ iconic 1990/91 team, watched Carlos Carvalhal’s side in action against Ipswich Town last month. He has wished them well for the challenges looming on the horizon.

Nilsson, now the Gothenburg Under-17 coach, said: “Wednesday are a big club to be reckoned with so hopefully it will go well in the Play-Offs.

“With the money that is in the Premier League now, it would make a difference.”

In a four and a half year stint at Hillsborough, Nilsson clocked up 186 appearances in Owls colours. The unflappable defender helped Wednesday to promotion from Division Two and played a key role in their League Cup success 25 years ago. The Owls edged a nail-biting final against Manchester United at Wembley thanks to a spectacular strike by John Sheridan.

“The years I spent in Sheffield were fantastic,” said Nilsson. “It was great winning the League Cup and getting promoted to the top division. We did well in the Premier League and got to another cup final. They were absolutely fantastic times.

“Wednesday will always have a special place in my heart.”