Sheffield Wednesday: Owls seek to make big statement against Newcastle United

Jack Hunt

Jack Hunt

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Now is as good a time as any for the Owls to start proving their doubters wrong.

Some Wednesdayites are unhappy with Wednesday’s league position and expected them to be challenging for automatic promotion this season.

Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

But a top-two push has failed to materialise and the Owls still have their work cut out to confirm a play-off spot following a run of just two victories in eight outings.

Defender Jack Hunt has acknowledged the team’s displays have “slightly dipped”.

He said: “The performances are the more concerning thing for us because we have an honest set of lads who do want to go out there, perform well and stick to what the manager wants us to do.

“At times, we haven’t done that and that has been the most frustrating thing.

“We have to show some real grit and have fire in our bellies. It would be good against Newcastle to show the league what we are about and are here to kick on.”

Tuesday’s win over bottom-of-the-table Rotherham United eased the pressure on head coach Carlos Carvalhal, pictured above, and the result lifted Wednesday back into the play-off positions.

“It feels like everyone is against us,” said Hunt. “There are a lot of people saying how poor we are doing at the moment but you don’t really hear that from too many other teams. We have to get on with it.

“Part and parcel of this business is taking criticism. Everyone knows that, especially the experienced lads in the dressing room. We haven’t really spoken about it.

“Hopefully we have put that little bad spell behind us and that’s the end of it now and really do kick on.”