Youngster Caolan Lavery hopes Sheffield Wednesday can establish themselves as a play-off chasing team if they enjoy a reasonably successful Christmas period.
Lavery, speaking ahead of today’s Championship clash against Blackburn Rovers, insisted that Owls boss Stuart Gray has not set his side a points target over the festive season - but the 22-year-old believes a nine-point return from games against Rovers, Wolves, Fulham, Blackpool and Wigan would be “massive” for Wednesday.
“The Christmas period won’t define our season... it never does, but it would be a big help to our chances if we could get nine points,” the Northern Ireland youth international said.
“We’ve got five games this month, and they’re all very winnable. So nine is more than achievable.
“Of course, it’s important to look at games individually and not set an overall target.
“But we aren’t far away from the play-offs. We have done really well this season, and we’ve had a lot of clean sheets.
“Maybe a little bit of luck is now falling our way so you never know what could happen between now and the end of the season.”
Lavery stepped up his comeback from injury with 90 minutes for Wednesday’s U21s against Huddersfield on Monday, and he is expected to be in the Owls squad again after a last-minute substitute appearance in the 2-1 win over Wigan last time out.
Stevie May ended his - and Wednesday’s - goal drought with a brace that day, and Lavery said: “It was brilliant for everyone to see Stevie get two goals.
He took them really well, because he’s a very good player.
“He proved that in Scotland and he’s starting to show his class here.
“The drought wasn’t easy for everyone but it never affected our mood.
“It’s the same now as it always has been - the lads are still positive. But the three points upped the atmosphere a little bit more, gave us a big lift.
“Now, I think we are ready - and capable - to push on.”