Alan Biggs: Sheffield Wednesday shouldn't be favourites to go back up ... and that's a good thing
There are far bigger issues but you can’t keep banging on about them. Let’s dare a peek into next season trusting in getting there - and to glimmers of hope.
Two misconceptions for starters about Sheffield Wednesday in the third tier.
One that any billing of the Owls being among promotion favourites is misleading, if not unrealistic, and that could help take some pressure off.
Two that teams have to kick their way out of League One. And this is where it also gets a touch more encouraging for Darren Moore’s plans.
It’s a myth, I think, that the lower you go the more rustic the football becomes. Used to be true and certainly there is a drop in individual ability.
But from what I’ve seen of the lower leagues, teams tend to be following the fashion for a passing game, often from the back. Not always wisely but there you go.
Hull (80 goals) and Peterborough (83) certainly didn’t grind their way to automatic promotion in the season just completed.
The level is competitive and combative, as you’d expect, but Moore’s preferred style, as demonstrated at Doncaster, will not be out of place within it. And bearing in mind the way the game is refereed at all levels now, gone are the days when physical strength and brute force worked.
Neither is it what the modern breed of spectator demands. Which is not to say Wednesday won’t be a prize for scalp-hunters, just that their knives can’t be as sharp.
And come to that, there are more than a few scalps of similar prestige, which is among reasons I don’t see Wednesday as favourites to go up.
Sunderland, Ipswich, Portsmouth, Charlton and an upwardly mobile Bolton are among other “big” clubs looking for a way back.
Leeds and Wednesday themselves are outfits who can attest that it can be more than a one-season job. The Owls will be seeking an escape for the third time since their drop from the Premier League in 2000.
But a dose of reality may help by keeping expectations manageable.
Fingers crossed for arriving at that point.