Lee Bullen says Sheffield Wednesday ‘need to be a family again’ as the coach calls on players and fans to show a togetherness and help shoot the team back up the table.
Some recent uninspiring performances have led to growing frustration in the stands, but although Bullen believes the team still have the support of the majority of the fans, he recognises that there has to be improvement on the pitch.
The Owls are unbeaten in six games but they have drawn their last three, including two scoreless draws, and are currently in 11th place in the Championship table, six points of the play-off places.
And Bullen is adamant the fans can play a big role in getting the campaign back on track, starting this Saturday with the visit of Hull City.
He said: “Other than a couple of performances we know we can improve, we know where we can improve.
“Supporters know that we need to improve as well. But we’re all singing together, we know that the fans are still on our side. I understand there’s some disappointment but if the fans weren’t on our side we wouldn’t have three-and-a-half thousand going down to Reading on a freezing cold November afternoon.”
The Scot, who made well over 100 appearances for Wednesday added: “I’ve seen ups and downs but I’ve seen a hell of a lot more ups than downs in the last couple of seasons.
“So when you go through a so-called sticky patch when results have been so-so and performances can be better, 90% of the time it’s up to the players to get the crowd on their feet, to get the crowd singing and get the crowd going and we’ve done that on occasions .
“But on the odd occasion when the players are going through a hard time or finding it hard to get into things the fans can make such a difference. They’ve done that when I was a player and they’ve done that over the past couple of seasons on many occasions, to lift the team. We need to be together, we need to be a unit we need to be a family again, that Wednesday family that everyone talks about.”
“I’m sure they will against Hull.”
After a difficult week in which Wednesday played in-form Bristol City at home before travelling to face both Ipswich Town and Reading away from home, Bullen says the everyone is looking forward to getting back to playing in front of their home supporters.
And he hopes the noise created by supporters in big games over the past few seasons can be replicated.
“It was a long week, tough fixtures, tough performances, dogged performances, I should say,” he said. “But we’re back at our home again this weekend, looking forward to another big crowd. We know the kind of atmosphere that can be generated at Hillsborough.
“Over the past two or three seasons, some of the atmospheres under the lights, on Saturday afternoons, 3 o’clock can be, in my opinion, Hillsborough can be one of the most intimidating stadiums for any opposition to come to and any opposition fan to come to.
“We read about it a lot after games, win draw or lose the amount of supporters from opposition teams saying the atmosphere at Hills is unbelievable. Now I fully understand that the performances have been a little up and down but it wasn’t that long ago we beat Leeds at Hillsborough and the atmosphere was red hot and I’m sure it will be the same again on Saturday.”