Sheffield Wednesday: Zayatte has sights on a new deal

Kamil Zayatte celebrates with Will Keane after the on-loan striker headed in the Owls second goal against Middlesbrough on Saturday
Kamil Zayatte celebrates with Will Keane after the on-loan striker headed in the Owls second goal against Middlesbrough on Saturday
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Experienced Owls defender Kamil Zayatte has set his sights on securing a new contract at Hillsborough.

The 29-year-old, who has impressed alongside Tom Lees at the heart of Sheffield Wednesday’s rearguard in recent weeks, will become a free agent in the summer.

If we continue playing like this we can finish in the top six before the end of the season

Kamil Zayatte

Buoyed by Saturday’s 2-0 victory over promotion-chasing Middlesbrough, Zayatte has expressed his desire to prolong his stay at the Championship club.

The centre-back told The Star: “I want to stay. That’s my objective to stay in Sheffield, because I have missed a lot of time to show everybody who I am because of injury. Now I start to feel better and I want to stay here to help the team.”

Although Zayatte is one of a number of players who is out-of-contract in the summer, he insists his main objective is to help Wednesday gatecrash the top-six. Atdhe Nuhiu (pen) and Will Keane registered in the Owls’ fourth home win of the season.

Despite recording back-to-back league wins, Stuart Gray’s side still trail the play-off positions by 14 points with just 12 fixtures left.

Zayatte said: “My contract finishes at the end of the season, but I am not thinking of that, I just want to help my team. If i do my best in every game, the club can give me a new contract.

“We played well against Middlesbrough and kept a clean sheet, everyone did their job.

“We need to play like this, if we continue playing like this we can finish in the top six before the end of the season.

“Everyone knew his job, the strikers scored and we kept a clean sheet at the back. We need to have that mentality.”

Dejphon Chansiri’s £30m takeover of Wednesday should be rubber-stamped by the Football League this morning. The Thai businessman will attend a press conference at 11am today with outgoing owner Milan Mandaric to outline his plans for the future but Zayatte says the squad are continuing to focus on the on field matters.

He said: “It’s nothing for us because we work hard before he came, do our best in training. It’s a bonus for us to have a new owner, and we going to try keep doing our jobs.”

A hamstring injury prevented Zayatte from featuring at the recent Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

The former Hull City player said: “It was so difficult for me to go there and not to play any games. But I have come back here fit. I played my first game and I have done well, the coach gave me his confidence, and I tried to take it.”

Gray turned to Zayatte to fill the defensive void left by skipper Glenn Loovens, who is unlikely to return to action until April following ankle surgery. Having recovered from his hamstring problem, Zayatte has started the last four matches and admits he is enjoying his partnership with Lees.

He said: “I have been out a long time because of injury, but now I feel better, playing with Tom [Lees] and we now know each other.

“Tom is a good player, does his best in every game. He got promoted to captain because he plays well, does his job, for me he is one of the best players in this league.

“We try to have a good connection in the game. We played well last week and (on Saturday) we take a massive win. Now I hope to keep away from injuries and play more games.

“I am not 100 per cent, about 90 per cent, and I am trying to do my best for the team. If the team win, that’s the best for everyone.”

The Owls, meanwhile, have slashed ticket prices for Wednesday’s home tussle with Blackburn Rovers. Tickets are priced at £20 for adults, £10 for seniors and under 17s and under 11s for £5. For more information, ring 0871 900 1867 (subject to £2 booking fee) or log on to the Sheffield Wednesday Online Shop.