VERSATILE defender Lewis Buxton is confident Sheffield Wednesday can mount a serious promotion challenge next season.
Buxton, who agreed a new two-year contract last Friday, is targeting a top-six finish when the 2011/12 campaign gets under way on August 6 against Rochdale.
The 27-year-old has challenged the Owls to be competing in the upper echelons of the division after ‘massively’ under-performing last year.
“After starting well last year, we under-achieved massively,” he conceded. “But that is in the past so hopefully we can push forward and do much better next season.
“Our target is to get promoted. We had that target last year and we didn’t get anywhere near it but this is a new season and I’m sure if we bring in a few more players then hopefully we will do it.”
Buxton, who joined Wednesday in October 2008 on loan from Stoke City before making his switch permanent in January 2009, can play anywhere across the back four. In his 94 appearances he has predominantly featured at right-back but he has filled in at left-back under manager Gary Megson.
Tenacious midfield grafter James O’Connor has also penned a new deal. He is set to stay until 2012 and is thrilled to have committed his future to Wednesday.
“I’m pleased to have signed up,” said the Dubliner. “The break has gone very quickly and I’m looking forward to a good pre-season.
“Hopefully we can kick on in the league next year and maintain it throughout the season.”