Sheffield Wednesday: Sam Hutchinson demands top-six finish
Uncompromising midfielder Sam Hutchinson claims the Owls' season will be a failure if they fail to secure a play-off place.
With nine Championship matches left, Wednesday currently lie in sixth position.
Expectation levels have soared at Hillsborough, with Carlos Carvalhal transforming them from a mid-table outfit into serious promotion candidates.
There has been a big turnover in the playing squad but the Owls have earned rave reviews for their slick, attractive brand of football.
When asked if it would be a failure not to make the play-offs, Hutchinson, who missed Saturday’s superb away success at Nottingham Forest due to illness, replied: “Probably. We have been in there, amongst it, and it would be ours to lose.
“But we have recruited so many people, and the club has changed so much.
“Since I have been here, a year and a half, the club has changed so much. The infrastructure, what the chairman is trying to do, it’s amazing. I think it’s only going one way.”
If Wednesday miss out on promotion this season, Hutchinson is convinced they will be well equipped to compete in the upper reaches of the division next time around.
“We are in the top-six at the moment, but really we will be in a stronger position next season to succeed,” he stressed.
“I think the whole team has done fantastic this season.
“From where we were last year, and the amount of players we have recruited.
“It’s always difficult when you bring in so many players, sometimes it doesn’t work, and the gaffer and everyone have found a formula so it does work.”
Wednesday will be without the services of Barry Bannan for the next three matches after the club lost their appeal over his sending off at Forest last weekend.
Hutchinson said: “Barry is a great footballer.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, Barry and Kieran Lee have have been brilliant for the team; they are like little whippets running around the pitch.”