Sheffield Wednesday: Sam Winnall sets sights on top two for Owls

New boy Sam Winnall is refusing to give up hope of securing automatic promotion after making a winning start to his Owls career.

Sam Winnall on his Owls debut
Sam Winnall on his Owls debut

The 25-year-old striker made a big impact after coming on as half-time substitute in Saturday’s victory over promotion rivals Huddersfield Town.

Winnall, recruited for an undisclosed fee, thought to be in the region of £500,000, from South Yorkshire neighbours Barnsley last week, played a big part in sparking Wednesday’s attack into life as Carlos Carvalhal’s men sealed a fourth successive win against the Terriers.

With Brighton and Hove Albion, who are the Owls’ next opponents, suffering a surprise 2-0 defeat away to Preston North End last weekend, Wednesday have closed the gap on the second-placed Seagulls to nine points.

Winnall told The Star: “We can still potentially finish in the top two. I saw that Brighton lost, so it is possible. We know we have players who can win games and who can make the difference.

“We have a really good side here and all we want to do is do our best. We want to win as many games as possible and hopefully that can lead to us being in the Premier League next season.”

Winnall, who notched 11 goals for Barnsley this season, was pleased with his contribution after helping the Owls record their ninth Hillsborough success thanks to second-half goals by Ross Wallace and Fernando Forestieri.

“It’s nice that the gaffer believes in me and trusts me to come on and do a job,” he said. “I think I did well in my first game and I know there’s a lot more to come from me and I can improve.

“We knew our first-half performance wasn’t good enough but in the second we really put on a show and upped the tempo and got the win we deserved. It is a great start for me and hopefully it is first win of many.”

He said he learned of the Owls’ interest in his signature following Barnsley’s FA Cup third-round draw at Blackpool.

“Everything happened so fast,” he said. “It has been manic. I’m just thankful it is done now.”