Mandaric has faith in Owls talent

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MILAN Mandaric is banking on quality and spirit to see the Owls through the Hillsborough derby.

Wednesday’s chairman told The Star he has faith in the players and hopes for an end to the club’s three-match losing streak.

“I am aware of how our supporters are excited by this game and how incredible our fans are,” he said.

“I hope our team will respond. I do believe in the players; I believe there’s a lot of quality, and I don’t think anybody will ignore what this game means to the fans.”

Mandaric was impressed by the way the Owls fought back to draw at Bramall Lane after being two down.

“It was a tremendous turnaround; a lot of credit was due to our team for the character they showed,” he said. “The last thing I want is for our supporters to walk away unhappy after the game on Sunday.

“We desperately need to get back on a winning streak.

“I firmly believe we have quality players. We need to express ourselves in the game. I expect a good, competitive game between two sides who are trying to outdo each other.”

Mandaric admits that the recent run has been a setback amid the club’s hopes of automatic promotion: “It’s a difficult one, when you aim where we are aiming. Right now, I think everything is overshadowed by this huge game that we have ahead of us.

“We want to beat our neighbours. We want to have a good game. As chairman and leader of the club, I want us to be promoted. Our focus is on Sunday’s game.

“The rest of the season comes later. We are all in it; we are all together; we know our supporters are behind us; we have to respond. I really believe in our players and our quality and that we’ll do fine.”

Loan winger Michail Antonio has revealed on Twitter that he has been making the most of time with his partner and new baby: “Spending time with the family b4 i go up north going to miss them.”

He has also thanked fans for messages of support and said he is “buzzing” for his debut.