Owls: Loan keeper tips Sheffield Wednesday for promotion

Good feeling: Stephen Bywater went up with Derby.
Good feeling: Stephen Bywater went up with Derby.
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WEDNESDAY are giving keeper Stephen Bywater that promotion feeling again.

He experienced it as a member of the Derby side that went up to the Premier League in 2007.

The on-loan 30-year-old sees similarities in results and spirit between then and now - and once again an important role for fans:

“Everyone at the club is working together, sticking together and the camaraderie is good. I have the same feeling [as at Derby],” he said.

“The key thing is that you have to continue that for the whole season.

“If you get a bad result, you still stick together, still run for each other. Nobody gets blamed, because you’re in it together.

“I think that will happen this year. I think everyone will stick together and it will be exciting. especially with the support as well.

“The Derby fans got behind us that year. We were nicking 1-0s and 3-2s; the fans do make a massive difference.

“The fans at Hillsborough are a big help, and the away support is great.

“The club have everything geared up to do well. You just need a bit of luck in life, and hopefully you just take it.

“It’s better being a lucky player than a good player sometimes.

“Hopefully the lads will get lucky and use their ability and I’ll be rooting for them whether I’m here or not.”

Bywater must return to Derby when his loan expires on December 17, and then he will have to wait and see what happens in the January transfer window.

But he has enjoyed working under Gary Megson and goalkeeping coach Andy Rhodes.

Although Wednesday are third, with an outside chance of going second today if they win at Tranmere, Bywater believes that the table has little significance at this stage of a season.

“When I was playing at West Ham, Crystal Palace were 19th at Christmas and had everyone writing them off; they went on a run and got promotion through the play-offs,” he recalled.

“It’s irrelevant where you are now. It’s about concentrating on yourselves and believing you’re going out there to give your best and the best will be good enough with the squad and players you’ve got.”

Bywater and on-loan Stoke winger Ben Marshall are set to return to the side at Tranmere today after missing the match at Morecambe because their clubs did not want them cup-tied.

The keeper did not find out until late in the week that he was unable to play: “It was terrible, really. Me and Marshy went and watched but it’s just not the same. You’re geared up for a game on a game day.

“Richard O’Donnell did well. There are good keepers here, and Andy Rhodes is bringing the best out of people.”