Carlton Palmer believes head coach Carlos Carvalhal must lead Sheffield Wednesday to promotion this season to keep his job.
Carvalhal is into his third campaign as Owls boss, having steered the club to successive top-six finishes in his previous two seasons.
Wednesday have made a solid, unspectacular start to the 2017/18 term. After 11 matches, Carvalhal’s men currently lie in 12th position, four points adrift of the play-off zone.
Owls legend Palmer, who made over 200 appearances for the Hillsborough club across two spells, told The Star: “I don’t believe Carlos deserves to be out of work but he’s in his third year and he has to deliver promotion this season.
“If he doesn’t deliver promotion this year, then I think it will be time for them to make a change.”
Palmer watched on at Hillsborough as Wednesday impressively defeated his old club Leeds United 3-0 on Sunday.
It was a big result for Carvalhal, with some sections of the Owls fan-base having turned on him in recent weeks.
Palmer said: “Carlos shouldn’t have been under pressure going into the Leeds game. You have to look at the bigger picture.
“Two seasons ago, Wednesday overachieved in reaching the play-off final. I think last year play-offs was the minimum people expected.
“I was disappointed with the Huddersfield play-off games and Carlos will be disappointed with his tactics over the two legs but he still got them into the top-six.
“They are a good footballing side and have quality. [Barry] Bannan is a good player and [Steven] Fletcher and [Gary] Hooper are proven scorers. Kieran Lee was magnificent against Leeds.
“The Championship is a tough league but I think they will be in the play-offs again. If they don’t make the play-offs, they will have underachieved.”
The former England international thinks an automatic promotion challenge will be a big ask.
“I was looking at the top two from them this season but I think that’s a stretch,” said Palmer. “But there are a lot of average teams in this league. There’s a long way to go and Wednesday are capable of going on a good run.”
As for the Owls’ Steel City derby mauling last month, Palmer said: “It was an off day for Wednesday but Chris Wilder (Sheffield United manager) got his tactics spot on against them. It was a freak result as Carlos’s team don’t usually concede four goals. But if I was playing against Wednesday, I would squeeze them high up the park because they lack pace to run in behind.”
Wednesday are a good passing side but they aren’t going to run in behind you.”
To mark his new autobiography ‘It Is What It Is’, Palmer will be hosting a special question and answer evening at Owlerton Stadium this Thursday. Fans are invited to join him and Owls legends Ron Atkinson, David Hirst and John Sheridan to watch the World Cup qualifier between England and Slovenia.
The event, which runs from 6:30pm-11pm, also features a raffle and auction for Palmer’s charity Cavendish Cancer Care, who will receive 20 per cent of every book purchased on the day or pre-ordered online. Every ticket includes food, one drink and a seat at the event.
Tickets are priced at £40 including the book or £22 without.
Palmer will also be signing copies of his book in the Owls megastore on Saturday, October 7 from 10am.