SHEFFIELD Wednesday may be languishing inside the Championship’s bottom three after a disastrous run of six defeats in seven games - but midfielder Danny Mayor insists the Play-Offs remain a realistic target for the struggling Owls.
Wednesday made an impressive start to life in English football’s second tier after promotion last season, picking up seven points from their first three games.
But since a 3-2 win against Millwall on August 25, they have picked up just a single point in the league - and also lost to Premier League Southampton in the Capital One Cup.
Dave Jones’ men now have a free weekend due to the international break ahead of next Friday’s crucial Yorkshire derby against Leeds United - and Mayor believes that a run of victories will propel the Owls quickly up the Championship standings.
“It’s still very early doors,” Mayor told The Telegraph.
“There’s only been what, ten games? So there’s still a lot of time left in this season, and two or three wins on the bounce will send you shooting up the table.
“It’s definitely doable, and that’s what we should be looking at with a club this size.
“We started off this season well, we’ve had a bit of a slump but I’m sure we’ll pick up and start to look towards the Play-Offs.”
Mayor, who signed for Wednesday from Preston North End in August, points out that Sunderland lost their first three games of the Championship season in 2006/07, but ended up winning the league after going 17 games unbeaten.
“We have to take heart from that,” the winger added.
“We’ve got a lot of experienced players in the team who’ve been playing for years, so they know what it’s all about. There’s a very strong mentality here, and the lads are all behind the manager [Jones].
“He brought me to this club and I know I’m right behind him, and I’m sure all the players are too.
“He’s a great manager; he’s been there with Cardiff and Southampton, and he’s got great experience.
“I’m sure he’s the right man to try and take us up to the Premier League.”
Mayor’s Wednesday career has so far been limited to three appearances from the substitute’s bench - but the 21-year-old is confident of getting back to full fitness and challenging for a starting berth.
“I feel like I’m getting there,” Mayor said.
“I had a weird pre-season at Preston and I don’t want to ever experience anything like that again.
“But I feel like I’m getting sharper, I look sharper in training and hopefully I can get to full fitness and last for 90 minutes,”
Mayor did exactly that on Tuesday evening, catching the eye as Wednesday’s development side beat their Sheffield United counterparts 3-2 at Hillsborough.
“It’s always good to get a win in a derby match,” Mayor, who created Gary Madine’s early opener with an exquisite through-ball, said.
“My second half got a bit sloppy but it’ll come with fitness; the more I play, I’ll be able to cut out the errors.
“When I signed here, all the lads were 3-4 weeks in front of me fitness wise so it was always a progression thing, so I’ve got to get my head down and earn the shirt and hopefully I’ve shown the gaffer what I can do.
“I played more centrally, which was different but I enjoyed it and hopefully I can kick on from here.”
Mayor’s move to Wednesday was his first permanent transfer of his career, although he has enjoyed a loan spell at Tranmere.
“I moved up to Sheffield last week, so that’ll help me,” he said,
“It’s been a bit difficult moving away from my family, but I’ve got my missus up here with me which will help.
“It’s all part and parcel of the game, of course, but I’m enjoying it so far.”
Follow Danny on Twitter: @dannyhall04