Sheffield Wednesday captain Tom Lees: We won’t throw the towel in on play-off hopes until it is mathematically impossible

Tom Lees says Sheffield Wednesday will not “throw in the towel” on their play-off ambitions until it is impossible for them qualify for a top six finish.

By Nancy Frostick
Monday, 08 April, 2019, 21:00

The Owls were handed a blow by rivals Aston Villa at the weekend as they lost their first match under Steve Bruce, but Lees says Wednesday will look to respond quickly in Tuesday night’s match against Nottingham Forest.

Speaking to The Star after Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Hillsborough, the defender said: “We have obviously both had poor results so both teams will be looking to bounce back.

Owls skipper Tom Lees beats Villar pair of Anwar El Gazhi and Tammy Abraham. Pic Steve Ellis.

“To be honest, since I have been here, I think that’s one of the best performances we have had. It looked like we were back to our old selves - it was a big atmosphere and a big game and we looked like we were right at it.

“Villa can go away celebrating but I think that they know that they have got away with one.

“We have got to take confidence from it and see what we can do under pressure because today was a big pressure game and I thought we handled it well. I suppose we take that into next year now.

“The run that we have been on since December, if we replicate that next season for the full season then we will go up.”

Lees admits that any hopes Wednesday had of earning promotion this season have taken a hit with defeat to Dean Smith’s side, but Steve Bruce’s men will not give up on the current campaign until the numbers prove it to be impossible.

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“You never know - I’m not sitting here throwing in the towel but realistically it’s going to be a big ask. Teams have got six games left and games in hand so it’s a big ask but you’ve just got to keep going really.

“We have got eleven players that are out of contract, we have got a relatively new manager who won’t want to take his time to get it right.

“He will want to get it right next year and if we are good enough, a promotion push next year so that’s the main motivation now, to make sure we are good enough for next season.

“I’m contracted next season but in football I don’t think that means a lot - if a club wants a player then it can happen.

“Everybody, whether you have got a contract or not, if the manager comes and tells you that you are not going to get a game for the next three years then anyone would go anyway. So, everybody has got to show that they can be here for next season.”

Wednesday are likely to be without Barry Bannan and Dominic Iorfa for the match against Forest as both were substituted with injuries on Saturday.

Rolando Aarons also remains a doubt after picking up an ankle injury in the warm up against Stoke City last weekend.