A play-off place is the minimum aim for Sheffield Wednesday as they bid to restore the pride of fans, Daniel Pudil has declared.
The Owls kick off their 2018/19 Championship campaign at Wigan Athletic tomorrow and centre-half Pudil issued an eve-of-season call for the club to push for promotion in style.
Wednesday suffered a dip last term and finished in midtable but made the play-offs in the previous two seasons, coming closest to the Premier League in 2016 when they were beaten by Hull City in the final.
“The target is of course to get to the top six at least,” Pudil said. “That is the most important thing.
“But we want to play nice football, as we played in the first and second year, to make the fans happy and enjoy their football.
“Hopefully, as many as possible will come to every home and away game and support us. Because we know if they are standing behind us and supporting us, then we have big confidence to play nice football. I believe we can beat anyone in the Championship.”
I believe we can beat anyone in the ChampionshipDaniel Pudil
Pudil, likely to feature in a three-man defence at the DW Stadium as manager Jos Luhukay begins his first full season at the helm, has identified one key area where the Owls need to improve.
“I think we cannot lose the games against the bottom teams in the league because we had this type of problem last season in losing a lot of points to them,” he said.
“We were able to beat the second and third teams in the league. I think we should focus on every single game, give 110 per cent and play our football.
“We are able to play nice football and keep the ball on the floor as we have so many great players in the team. I have full trust in our team.”
Wednesday, who have made no signings in pre-season but have players returning from injury, head to the DW Stadium to face a side that finished as League One champions in May.
“We know there will be a lot of games in the first weeks and we are going to need a big squad,” Pudil said.
“We need to start well because everyone knows that if you do well and win two or three games, the confidence is fine and you are going to trust each other and enjoy the season.”
The 32-year-old Czech Republic international agreed a 12-month contract at the end of last term after being at Hillsborough since an August 2015 switch from Watford.
“I am glad I signed for another year,” he said. “I will do everything for Sheffield Wednesday and the fans to get at least in the top six and make them proud again.”