Andre Green on how off-field battles and promotion scraps will help him at Sheffield Wednesday
“I may not have played many games and I am young,” admitted Sheffield Wednesday new boy Andre Green with a maturity far beyond his 22 years. “But I’ve had so many experiences.”
The lively winger, who signed for the Owls last week on a free transfer after his summer release from his beloved Aston Villa, arrives hoping to add firepower to the attack and build on a run of four wins in five matches prior to their two-week pause due to a coronavirus outbreak.
The fun starts with something of a ‘free hit’ at Everton in the FA Cup on Sunday, but Green is all too aware of the pressure he walks into at Hillsborough with the Owls sat in the relegation zone.
It’s a big-club pressure he experienced as a teenager, albeit at the other end of the table, as Villa were promoted via the playoffs in 2019.
“We were in the running and we were in the Wembley final the year before that and then the year after we were promoted and I was involved,” he said.
“We were way off it, we were eighth and had to win a load of games in a row and we did it.
“That just goes to show that if you get a few good results and you pull together, anything is possible, especially with where we are in the table.”
Green, who became the fifth-youngest player ever to play for the Midlands club when he made his debut as a 17-year-old in March 2016, has revealed a football education that has put a wise head on young shoulders.
“Since I was coming through the academy at Villa I’ve always been ahead of myself in years. I’ve always been training and playing with players older than me, I was playing under-21s when I was 15 and even then I was being hard on myself and beating myself up.
“I’ve come a long way since then and my mentality has changed. I’ve learned not to put too much pressure on myself because I always used to get myself down and be my own worst enemy, but I’ve learned from that and I know how to manage myself and my mentality.
“That can only be good for me in this next adventure.”
As Green emerged as a first team player after Villa’s relegation from the Premier League, financial turmoil, fan unrest and off the field issues with the club’s ownership gave the youngster a taste of what is needed to focus yourself on the job in hand, whatever is happening elsewhere.
With the points deduction still playing its part on the Owls’ season and with a manager yet to be appointed, it’s experience he hopes to draw on.
“I was thrown in at the deep end when I was young,” he said. “Things weren’t going too well at Villa, we’d just been relegated and we were struggling with the ownership and things like that.
“Knowing all that from an early age, I was 17 or 18, the only way I could come out of that was stronger. I’m definitely well-equipped for stuff like that and my mentality going forward is much stronger.”