Flying start: Sheffield Wednesday aiming to ensure they're not playing catch up
Gaining a blistering start to the campaign will be a key focus in Sheffield Wednesday's promotion challenge this coming season.
In both of Carlos Carvalhal’s seasons in charge at Hillsborough the Owls have won the league’s opening fixture and then failed to back that up with successive victories.
Last season they failed to win the next four after beating Aston Villa in their first match and in the year before that, Wednesday went another six games after beating Bristol City before registering a win over Fulham.
The inability to gain momentum early on meant that Wednesday were playing catch-up right from the start and put a quick dent in any ambition to finish in the top two.
There is recognition in the camp that if the Owls are to fulfil their goal of promotion to the Premier League, they can ill-afford to allow teams to build a gap at the beginning of the season.
Midfielder Barry Bannan insists that they ‘have to hit the ground running’ on their return to action.
“The group that we have got at the minute is definitely good enough to get promoted,” he said. I think we have started really, really slow in the two previous seasons and it caught up on us.
“We have to look at getting off to a better start. It’s something we have got to look at. We have to hit the ground running when we get back.
“I assume there will be a few new additions to strengthen the squad which will be good.
“There will be a few new faces coming in to help us over the line. It will be tough again. You never know what can happen. But I think we are one of the lucky ones. We have a good, good squad.
“The squad will stay pretty much the same with a few new additions which will be good for us going forward.”
Meanwhile, Wednesday were yesterday drawn at home to Chesterfield in the Carabao Cup first round. The ties take place in the weekend commencing August 7.