Struggling Sheffield Wednesday target Christmas cheer

Sheffield Wednesday's players will be seeking to give their loyal supporters some much-needed festive joy when they welcome Preston North End to Hillsborough this weekend.

Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 11:53 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 11:58 am
Wednesday fans at Swansea City last weekend

Jos Luhukay's troops have fallen from sixth to 18th in the Championship standings after picking up just one victory from their last 10 matches.

With the Owls struggling near the bottom end of the division, Luhukay has faced calls to be sacked in recent weeks. Only five points separate Wednesday from the relegation zone. Unless results quickly improve, the Owls will find themselves firmly in a battle for survival.

Wednesday fans at Swansea City last weekend

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As far as Czech Republic international Daniel Pudil is concerned, substance takes precedence over style.

"Every game is important for us," he told The Star. "We have to go for it against Preston.

"It doesn't matter how we play as long as we win the game. It could be an ugly game. I don't care. All that matters is the three points.

"I just hope we win the game, move up higher in the table and enjoy Christmas."

Preston's visit to S6 on Saturday represents the halfway point in the campaign.

After hosting the Lilywhites, Wednesday face an away double-header against promotion-chasing Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion after Christmas. It could be a make-or-break period for Luhukay as he battles to save his job in the face of mounting criticism.

Pudil said: "The Christmas period is an opportunity to get some points on the board. We are looking at it game by game. If we can get a couple of wins in a row, that would push us right back up there.

"It is up to us (the players) to turn things around.

"When the team is not winning games, the people blame the manager and the players. We are not doing well but we have to get through this period.

"We were one nil up at Swansea and then conceded two stupid goals.

"It is not about tactics or formations. It is about individual performances."

Pudil, preferred at centre-back to Michel Hector at Swansea last weekend, remains confident the Owls possess the quality to come through this sticky patch.

'I know we have a good squad,' said the experienced defender. "The most important thing is that we win a couple of games in a row to get through this bad period.

"We are five points above the relegation zone and we have tough games ahead of us.

"It is a big challenge for everyone and we have nothing to lose in those games.

'We have to sort out the situation.'

As part of the club's #BlueandWhiteChristmasDay, Pudil and the rest of Wednesday's squad spread some Christmas cheer in Sheffield today. The players, chairman Dejphon Chansiri and Luhukay visited the Sheffield Royal Society of the Blind, Hallam FM Cash for Kids, Children's Hospital, Weston Park Cancer Charity, St Luke's Hospice and Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice.