SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Come and join us says Milan Mandaric

Best wishes: Milan Mandaric hopes and thinks that the Blades will triumph in the play-offs and be promoted with Wednesday

Best wishes: Milan Mandaric hopes and thinks that the Blades will triumph in the play-offs and be promoted with Wednesday

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MILAN Mandaric is backing Sheffield United to follow Wednesday into the Championship.

The Owls chairman feels that it would be good for the city if both clubs go up and that the Blades can do it via the play-offs.

“I sincerely believe that there would be nothing better than for them to make it,” he said.

“This city needs them as well. It is a football city.

“There is nothing better than to have both clubs going neck and neck, competing professionally on the field, and to have excitement between two sets of supporters going at each other in a good football way.

“Yes, I think they (United) should make it. I think they will make it. They have got enough quality there. They’re a great club as well, and I wish them all the best.”

Wednesday are breaking up for the summer as United head into their semi-final first leg at Stevenage tonight but the Owls are already making plans for next season.

Boss Dave Jones expects to be busy on the phone in his attempts to bring in new players.

The club have already fixed up a friendly against West Brom at Hillsborough on August 4 (3pm).

Jones said there will also be two games in Portugal, and two on the evening before the squad go abroad, with the squad being split.

After that, there will be a match in Scotland and another one in this country. Details have yet to be announced.

The players will report back for pre-season on July 11.

The Carling Cup tournament will begin during the week that precedes the August 18 start of the Football League season.

With these dates in his diary, Jones said: “I normally have pre-season over five weeks. The players will have (fitness) programmes to do while they’re away.

“From day one when they come back, the ball will be out, as they’ll be doing the work within the close season.” The club also plan changes to the training ground.

Jones added: “There are lots of things that need to be done. We’ve got a busy road ahead, and the chairman wants to get there as quickly as possible. He’s going to want players in, players sorted and players kept. That’s going to be the hard part.”

Mandaric said promotion was like a dream that had become reality but now there was pressure to build on the foundations now laid: “We are entering a very competitive league. It’s not going to be easy - but we like challenges.”