First matches only start of a marathon effort, says Sheffield Wednesday star man
Results in the opening throes of the season will not be the be-all and end-all for Sheffield Wednesday, according to key man Kadeem Harris.
The winger, successfully converted to wing-back in Garry Monk’s favoured 3-5-2 formation, looks set to line up against Cardiff tomorrow in the Owls’ season opener.
The stadium will offer familiar surroundings for the lightning-quick wide man, who signed on at Hillsborough from the Welsh club on a free transfer last summer.
Wednesday start the season on minus-12 points and while Harris accepts it is important they get off to a strong start, he does not believe the opening matches will define their campaign.
“It's a very long season,” he said, speaking to The Star late last month. “You saw last season how well we started and how things went downhill after Christmas, things can change very quickly, if we don't win the first couple of games it's not the end of the world, there will be a lot of games ahead.
“Like I’ve said before, that togetherness and courage and being a team is important and we've got that, we've got real character in the team this season and even if we don't have that flying start we can do really well. Everyone is looking forward to the challenge ahead and looking forward to it.”
Harris, 27, has previously spoken about his desire to become a senior presence in the changing room having locked down a starting place last season.
Having turned down a new contract with Cardiff, he arrived in South Yorkshire after spending long periods of the Bluebirds’ Premier League season on the bench.
Last season’s 1-1 draw at his previous ground saw Harris produce an eye-catching performance.
Speaking to swfc.co.uk, he said: “I’m massively looking forward, I’ve been waiting for this first game to come for a couple of weeks now, I can’t wait.
“Hopefully we can go into that game with the full confidence that we take into training every single day, that togetherness as well and we get that second win.
“I look forward to every game but this one even more so, so hopefully I can get on the score sheet and we can win the game.”
Wednesday head into the tricky clash off the back of a leg-stretching 0-0 penalty shootout win over Walsall in the Carabao Cup. Their only previous 90-minute run-out in a condensed pre-season was another goalless draw against Premier League Leicester City.
Harris performed well in both fixtures and feels he is beginning to hit his straps ahead of the season opener. He scored a penalty in the Walsall shootout and switched flanks after the introduction of man of the match Matt Penney on the left-hand side.
“I felt really good to be fair,” Harris said. “It was a good run out for all of us, our first proper 90 minutes.
“I’m glad we got the win, no matter how we did it, it was just important to get in the next round and a win is a win.
“We want to take that into the season now, into our first game on Saturday and make it a positive start for us.”