Sheffield Wednesday: Waddle admires strike pair

Connor Wickham volleys his goal past Reading keeper Alex McCarthy
Connor Wickham volleys his goal past Reading keeper Alex McCarthy
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Chris Waddle is backing Connor Wickham and Matty Fryatt to play a big part in an Owls revival.

The former Hillsborough star sees Wickham and Fryatt as a potent strike partnership.

He also hopes that his old club turn their fortunes around so that the loyalty of the fans is rewarded.

Waddle feels that Wickham and Fryatt are capable of adding to the goals that they have already scored for the club. He said: “I think Connor looks really toned, slim and really fit compared to the last time he came. I don’t know if that was down to Paolo Di Canio, because he was very strong on fitness.

“Matty has shown if you get the ball in the box to him that he can finish.”

Fryatt has scored four goals in only six starts for the club, Wickham one in two.

Waddle says that Michail Antonio, Jeremy Helan and the team as a whole need to be more consistent, but that this quality has not been lacking in the backing from the fans:

“The support is phenomenal,” Waddle told The Star. “I went to Rotherham this year and they lost that night and played poorly but the fans never stopped singing.

“I know from my experience having played for them for four years that they are fantastic and they are looking just for that bit of success. They have stuck by the team.”

Waddle feels that the club are capable of climbing the table: “Dave (Jones) has good coaches there. It is about consistency,

“It is about going and nicking a result sometimes and thinking ‘we have done all right today; we matched them; all steady.’ That is the key in any league.

“If you want to win championships and get promotions, it is about players getting seven or eight out of 10 every week. Until Wednesday start getting that consistency, it is going to be highs and lows for them.

“It would be nice if they could get away from that relegation zone and get well away from it and get into the top half. It is possible. There are a good 10 to 12 teams in that league who I think could be involved in relegation.

“I know they have got hard fixtures coming up with Leicester, Forest and Watford. Every game is winnable in this league because you don’t know what you are going to get. Hopefully Wednesday will finish mid-table.

“If that team goes into League One, it would win it. The team is honest, you cannot say they don’t work hard. But at the end of the day the Championship is about putting the ball in the back of the net, and quality.”

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland cannot qualify for the UEFA Under 21 finals in 2015 but Caolan Lavery’s international career may be on the right track.

The Wednesday striker stepped up to the starting line-up to face Cyprus in Lurgan and played for 75 minutes as the team won 1-0 - their first victory of the campaign.

He came close to scoring when he had a shot blocked in the first half.

Lavery played as a late sub when Ireland’s qualification hopes ended with a 3-0 defeat in Italy last week.