MICHAIL Antonio has begun the final countdown to the new season by insisting that Sheffield Wednesday are capable of earning a second successive promotion.
First up is tonight’s Capital One Cup tie at Oldham but the Championship campaign which begins at Derby on Saturday is central to the club’s ambitions.
Antonio, who played a key part in promotion from League One, believes that the Owls will have the players who could take them into the Premier League.
“The aim is to get promotion, and if we don’t get it then to make sure we stay in this league,” the £700,000-plus winger told The Star.
“You never want to look back; you always want to look forward: we all have the dream of getting back-to-back promotions.
“I think we have the players to do it and we have made some quality signings.”
Antonio, who was landed after a summer-long chase by the Owls, admitted that he always wanted to return to Hillsborough after his success on loan last season but there was a time when he doubted whether his move from Reading would go through.
“I loved every single minute when I was here last season.
“But it took over two months for the deal to get done and I was starting to think it wasn’t going to happen, when the clubs didn’t manage to come to an agreement when we were both in Portugal.
“I always wanted to come back. As soon as I got back into training I knew I was a Wednesdayite.
“Fans tweeted me non-stop from May 5 telling me to come back, right until the day I signed.
“The only way I can repay their faith in me is by playing games and playing well.
“I don’t even know if I’m going to play yet. I have to try to get a place.
“Nothing at all is guaranteed in football. If you don’t perform, you don’t get given anything. You have to earn it yourself.”
Boss Dave Jones has given no clues about his starting line-up at Oldham but says: “Whatever team I put out, it will be one that I honestly believe will win.
“That will be the same for every game while I’m here.”