A clean slate, high morale and looking to the future.
Those are the key themes coming out of Hillsborough as Sheffield Wednesday push on with the second half of the season and look ahead to a new era under Steve Bruce according to Owls striker Sam Winnall.
Change is afoot in S6, and while caretaker manager Steve Agnew expects Kieran Lee and Gary Hooper to remain a while away in their injury recoveries, Winnall finally had his homecoming in Saturday’s FA Cup match against Luton Town as a substitute.
Winnall, who was returning to the Hillsborough pitch for the first time since August 2017, was a welcome addition to the Owls squad over the festive period after being sidelined since February with a serious knee injury.
And the 27-year-old is determined to help Wednesday turn things around, as he told the Star: “No-one will say they are satisfied with how this season has gone. Everyone will be happy to accept we should be doing better.
“But it would be silly too dwell on the past. We can’t look back, we have to look forward. We have a clean slate and a new start.
“Morale is high in the club and there is a good feeling every day coming into the training ground. Everyone is in good spirits and that can only be a good thing.”
It’s no surprise there’s a good feeling about the Owls camp after an unbeaten run of five matches in all competitions, but Winnall says the squad are cautious of setting targets and will be taking the remainder of the season one game at a time under Bruce.
“League-wise, it is hard to set targets. Football can change within a week. We just have to take every game as it comes and prepare for each one, looking to win.
“I was pleased when the manager was announced. A manager with that level of experience can only be good for the squad and the team and me as a player.
“His credentials at this level speak for themselves. We have to work as hard as we can to be the fifth. The gaffer knows the league inside out.
“As players, we cannot influence when the manager comes in. All we can do is focus on our performance and, hopefully, get the results - be it in the Cup against Luton or at Hull.
“We cannot look too far ahead.”