The target Steve Bruce has set for Sheffield Wednesday in their final eight matches of the season

Sheffield Wednesday manager Steve Bruce has set a target of at least six wins from the last eight matches of the season if the Owls are to achieve an unexpected top six finish.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 11:17 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 7:04 pm
Owls Manager Steve Bruce. Pic Steve Ellis.

The Hillsborough boss has led his team to tenth place in the Championship as they prepare to tackle on the last stage of the campaign.

And Bruce, who has previously earned promotion to the Premier League via a late charge to the play-offs with Birmingham City, believes it is up to his squad to enjoy the chaos that comes with the climax of the season.

Speaking to the Star, Bruce said: “We’ve given ourselves a squeak haven’t we, where as a few months ago everyone had written us off into mediocrity.

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“So let’s enjoy the rollercoaster, grasp it if we possibly can. With eight games to go we are going to need to win six of them probably. Can we do it? We’ll try.

“You’re hoping as the new manager that you will come in and have an impact, and will have this sort of impact. But fair play to my staff around me, the people have bought in to what we want.

“More importantly, the players have some direction, give them a bit of confidence and all of a sudden we’re a different animal.

“We need injuries to clear up and find the reason and the solution why but overall we have got to be delighted.”

Wednesday will take on the first of their final eight challengers this season at the Bet365 Stadium on Saturday as they face Stoke City.

And after taking the time to recover over the international break, Bruce hopes his team will be quick out of the blocks against Nathan Jones’ men.

“You take time, have a weekend off and recharge the batteries for the run in,” he said. “When we come back it’ll be the end of March, so what have we got five or six weeks - bring it on, let’s enjoy it.

“It will be lovely for all the team to have a break but I’ve just said to the internationals if they come back injured they’ll be fined a week’s wages!”

The Owls will be without star man Steven Fletcher for the clash against the Potters, as the Scottish striker recovers from a groin injury.

Meanwhile Sam Hutchinson and Barry Bannan, who were both doubts after picking up knocks before the break, are expected to be available for selection, much to Bruce's relief.

“Let’s dust ourselves down and digest what’s head of us - we’ve got some big games here to look forward to and let’s hope we can come out on top,” he said.

“I think it’s my best run ever, how many have we won? I’ve never really looked.”