Owls supremo confident

Wednesday chairman confident club can stay up

Last updated: 27th April 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Owls supremo confident

Owls winning promotion in 2005

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Lee Strafford is hopeful Sheffield Wednesday will save themselves from relegation from the Championship in Sunday's winner-takes-all clash with Crystal Palace.

The Eagles missed the chance to relegate the Owls on Monday night after only securing a 1-1 draw with already-promoted West Brom at Selhurst Park.

That point means Wednesday now have their destiny back in their own hands, although they need to beat Paul Hart's side in what is sure to be a thrilling encounter at Hillsborough.

Owls chairman Strafford admits it was a nervy affair watching Monday's clash and he was amazed the Baggies did not secure all three points with the chances they created.

Stressful

"It was literally agony," he told Sky Sports News. "I cannot believe West Brom didn't get a bagful of goals. Monday night was pretty stressful.

"We've now got an opportunity in front of us with 30,000 fans getting right behind the team and taking our opportunity. It was Palace's opportunity on Monday night. Sunday becomes our opportunity to make our mark and control our destiny."

Wednesday's recent home form has not been great, although Strafford believes that when they have a bumper crowd they more often than not get a positive result.

The Owls won promotion to the Championship in the 2005 play-off final against Hartlepool in Cardiff and he is hopeful the South Yorkshire faithful will turn up in their droves to back the team.

"Our home form has not been great at times, but when we've turned up in large numbers we've delivered performances," he continued.

"We should have got the points against Sheffield United the other day. We should have turned Newcastle over earlier in the year as well.

"I'm confident as a one-off, this will effectively be just like the play-off final was for us a few years ago when we took 45,000 fans to Cardiff, the largest away following any club has ever taken anywhere - I think we'll recreate the situation and that's what got us over the line last time and I'm hoping will get us that result again on Sunday."

Opportunity

Strafford insists relegation would not be the end of the world for the Owls should they fail to beat Palace on Sunday, but he does believe it would be an opportunity missed.

With the likes of Portsmouth and Burnley definitely relegated, and Hull City likely to follow suit, Strafford thinks it is a great time to be playing Championship football with a number of high-calibre opponents in the division.

He continued: "Relegation would be a setback. It's not like last time when we got relegated when we were in complete freefall. We had no assets that we could sell. The fans were disenchanted with how the club was being run.

"It's a different situation for us, but it would be a massive opportunity missed because next year in the Championship, I and many other chairmen believe the Championship will be a big opportunity, probably the biggest in years, principally because the quality of clubs that are coming down and also the financial restructuring that clubs are engaged in at the moment.

"We have a large fanbase so we think we can handle that process, but we're not contemplating that at the moment."