Sheffield Wednesday: Owls ace seeks play-off push

Giles Coke reckons the Owls can be involved in the promotion mix next season.
Giles Coke reckons the Owls can be involved in the promotion mix next season.
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Giles Coke is convinced Sheffield Wednesday can send shockwaves through the Championship next season.

The Owls finished in 18th position last term, 10 points adrift of the play-off placings.

However, in the second half of the 2012/13 campaign Dave Jones troops lost just six times as they avoided an immediate return to League One.

Now Coke, who signed a new two-year deal with the Owls at the end of June, is confident Jones can turn the side into top-six contenders.

He told The Star: “There is no reason why we can’t do well at this level.

“As a team, we want do better than last season.

“I want to try and help this club get promoted. Inside the camp, we honestly believe we can challenge the top teams in this league.”

The midfielder thinks Wednesday can take inspiration from clubs such as Blackpool and Crystal Palace who, against the odds, have gained promotion to the top flight in recent seasons.

“They aren’t the biggest of sides but they went up,” he said. “Everybody in this league thinks they’ve got a chance.

“Consistency is the key. Our second half of the season was great.

“I f we had been that consistent at the start, we would have finished in the play-offs.”

As part of their pre-season training camp in Portugal, Wednesday lost 3-1 to Braga in a pre-season friendly last night. Martin Taylor scored.

The Owls will now face Hull City during their week-long stay.

“It is always good to get positive results in pre-season but I don’t think you can read too much into them,” said Coke.

“They are a little bit false, I think. As long as we get our fitness levels up and do things right, I’m sure we will go on to do well.”

It is likely Jones will add to his squad when they return from Portugal. Earlier this month, Jones had a look at Monaco midfielder Gary Coulibaly. Now the Frenchman has claimed negotations over a potential move to Hillsborough broke down and Blackburn Rovers are reported to be a potential destination.

“I had talks with Sheffield (Wednesday) but we could not agree a fee,” he said. “I am thinking, to play in England could be fantastic.

“Blackburn is a big team and it can be a good club for me but nothing is done yet. Let’s see what comes out of it.”