Loan keeper Carson No 1 for Wednesday in Championship survival battle

ENGLAND Under-20 keeper and World Cup hopeful Scott Carson is being hailed as a key man in the Owls' escape from relegation.

His seven-week loan stay with Wednesday co-incided with a haul of 18 points and five clean sheets in nine games.

It culminated in the win at Derby which saw the team climb two places to end in 19th position.

When the Liverpool keeper arrived in early March, Wednesday had suffered four consecutive defeats and were still to make survival certain.

Assistant manager Kevin Summerfield - in charge while Paul Sturrock is away on a scouting mission - praised all the players for their efforts in the push for safety, including loan signings.

But he added: "Scott has possibly been the key one, ahead of everybody. He has given us an awful lot of confidence.

"I don't think he's had that many saves to make, take away Wolves where he single-handedly kept us in the game. The confidence he has given everybody who plays in front of him has been great."

Summerfield said that the fervour of the fans - seen again at Derby where 5,100 roared the team to a 2-0 victory - had been an asset.

"Our supporters have also been a big factor in us staying up.," he said. "They have been really patient; they have been knowledgeable about what's been going on at the club. They have been nothing but positive."