The Star’s Sheffield Wednesday writer Paul Thompson gives his inside Owls view...

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I wouldn’t fancy facing Wednesday in play-offs

IF Wednesday do end up in the play-offs then they would be the team I would least like to face if I played for one of the other qualifiers.

I’ll go a bit further than that.

On the evidence available so far, I’ll fancy them to go up even if they miss out on automatic promotion.

Actually it’s a gut feeling as well as the identity of potential rivals that leads me to that conclusion.

I had the same feeling when it became known that Brentford were the opponents in the 2005 semi-finals.

I thought the Owls would reach the final, and I did not not think they would lose it to Hartlepool at the Millennium Stadium.

I would not be so disrespectul as to dismiss the chances of MK Dons, Huddersfield or the fourth side who would make up the play-off quartet if Wednesday are included: it could be Notts County, Stevenage, Carlisle or Brentford.

If I played for any of those six teams then deep down I would want to avoid the Owls, though like any player I’m sure I would be putting a brave face on it, saying we’re confident, the play-offs are a lottery and anything can happen.

But Wednesday have the capability to produce the quality to outplay teams and they they possess the physical size and power to combat anyone who might try to rattle them out of their stride.

The fact that they are 10 points clear of the fourth-placed team and 18 ahead of the one in seventh spot shows that, as things stand, they are a much better team than the others.

I hope I am not jumping the gun, when there are three games still to go. They cannot be dismissed as being out of the automatic promotion chase, not yet, but, looking at it realistically, I think United will finish second.

Again it’s partly a hunch ... and sorry if I am being pessimistic, but Wednesday have been winning at home all season and now they really have to win there, it would be a classic example of Sod’s Law if they were to drop points against Carlisle tomorrow.

But you never know, do you? Wednesday should be well capable of winning, logically speaking. If they do so and United lose at MK Dons, there will be only one point in it, with two games left.

If the Owls do miss out on second place, Dave Jones will still have done a fine job.

Seven wins and two draws is some record. Of course nine wins would have been nice but, come on, let’s be realistic.

Now or at the end of the season is always a time for looking back and pinpointing occasions when points should or could have been won but weren’t.

But every club in the country can do that, wherever they finish, and all will have suffered bad luck here and there.

It was the Owls’ turn at Colchester, where a goal was wrongly disallowed for offside.

At least they had the goal machine working again. No, not Gary Madine: Miguel Llera. Three goals in three games is extraordinary for a centre-half, and each was different: a long free-kick, a near-post header and a close-range side-foot.

Tomorrow would be an ideal time for Gaz to join in, against his old club.

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