Owls followers caught up in the sound of silence

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WEll, well, well. Who’d have thought it? You can put me down as one who never would have.

After all, who would have thought that so many Wednesdayites could be so downbeat as they approached their biggest game of the season.

Okay, plenty are still right in there, convinced their favourites will turn over the old enemy on Sunday.

But it’s not the overwhelming majority you might expect. Not if the evidence I’ve had is anything to go by.

Normally bullish, upbeat Owls fans have suddenly become rather quiet and deep in thought. That’s the thing with Wednesday fans. They go quiet.

They are not into tearing their favourites apart. It’s too hurtful. They’d rather avoid the subject, not say anything.

But what I find strange this time is that plenty are not fancying their chances. They are looking at United’s surging form and they are fearing the worst.

For sure, Wednesday cannot afford to lose. Do so and that’s an eigh- point gap and, with United having two games in hand, Wednesday can virtually kiss automatic hopes goodbye (you can find many who already have done).

Unitedites seem unusually bouyant for them. They have a rare optimism that they are carrying into this game - and who can blame them?

They are playing some excellent stuff and are the more ‘watchable’ side of the two for the neutral. But we all know what is likely to go out of the window come one o’clock on Sunday. Yes, the form book.

In games like this, beware the underdog.

This one has whiff of Boxing Day 1979 about it when United were going well and Wednesday weren’t fancied. I called it a ‘cup tie’ that day and remember tipping the underdog!

Five years ago something similar happened. Wednesday were fighting relegation and they upset the odds.

As a neutral, I’m supposed to sit on the fence, judge the merits of both, consider friends and acquaintances in both camps of fans - and then forecast a draw.

Yes, United go into it in far better shape. But I have a sneaking feeling for a great scrap which might go the other way. 1-0.

The headline on this column back in January summed it up nicely ... “How Warnock might love an Elland Road link-up”.

Well, he has done, moving in last Saturday, although he wasn’t letting on even in his national newspaper column which came out the same day (although the news was out the same day elsewhere, including a picture taken the previous day of him with Ken Bates in Monaco).

Not to let on, he mentioned the vacancies at Wolves (the same paper had him favourite for that job just two days previously!) and Huddersfield.

But he did give a little clue suggesting that Premier League managers should be willing to drop down a division. So, if you look at that closely, then you could deduce he’d do what was said here a month ago.

Of course, as expected, first in line for praise were those lovely, cuddly Leeds fans. He won’t have to get them off their seats either. They already stand up behind the goal.

He may have to change his philosophy too. It might be difficult branding one of the very biggest clubs in the division as the underdogs every game. Still he’ll have a go.

Would you bet against him getting yet another promotion? No, you wouldn’t.