The term ‘happy-clapper’ has been thrown around a lot with regards to Sheffield Wednesday fans, particularly this season, and used mostly to deride those supporters whose backing is unwavering regardless of performances or results.
A glance at the league table suggests things aren’t too bad at all. A look back over what’s been presented on the pitch paints a different picture.
The extremities by which Owls fans’ opinions on displays this season offer a vast gap, but if we are all being honest we can agree on one thing - the players have not performed to the level of their collective capabilities.
The reasons for that can only be speculated and there are potentially quite a number.
* The surprise factor, currently embodied by Leeds United, has gone and teams are a lot more aware of Wednesday’s threats.
* Expectation levels have risen all around the club and the pressure has been cranked up as Carlos Carvalhal’s team are now legitimately regarded as one of the Championship’s big-hitters. The atmosphere has noticeably dimmed as a result of this.
* That has led to the fun and flamboyance of last year being sucked out of the team and they realise the novelty of a rising Wednesday side has now gone.
* Carvalhal, whether he admits to it or not, is more cautious, though he has pointed to wins or draws gained this season that he feels wouldn’t have been last season.
However, it has come to the stage where all of this doesn’t really matter now.
The cold, hard facts are that Wednesday are in the play-off positions, the very least of their goals for the season, and their destiny is in their own hands.
Yes, we would have all liked to have seen the kind of football that had Hillsborough rocking and fans on their edge of their seats last season, but if the team manage to dig in and get the results needed to book another date at Wembley, then the tedium of some games will be long forgotten.
Fans’ frustrations are understandable. That march to the capital last season was the most memorable campaign in years; many bought or renewed season tickets off the back of it and they haven’t really had value for money in terms of entertainment.
But, they will have their part to play now. I’m not an advocate of grinding out results but at this stage that’s all that matters. A win should be seen as a win and more points on the way to an ultimate goal...Sheffield Wednesday back in the Premier League.