SKIPPER Martin Taylor insists that Sheffield Wednesday are capable of turning round their recent miserable form – starting with tomorrow night’s visit of South Yorkshire rivals Leeds United.
The Owls go into the Sky-televised clash (kick off 7.45pm) having picked up just one point from a possible 21, after six defeats in their last seven games.
In contrast, Neil Warnock’s Leeds side currently sit just outside the Play-Off places on goal difference – but Taylor insists that Wednesday are not out of their depth at Championship level, and will soon prove they can compete.
“Results haven’t been going for us,” said the former Birmingham defender. “But, as it often is in this division, it has been fine lines.
“We have been on the wrong end of some marginal defeats and we haven’t been outplayed by any means.
“But it is something we have got to turn around; we know we can challenge at Championship level.”
Due to the international break, tomorrow night’s fixture is Wednesday’s first since the defeat against Hull City 13 days ago. “We’ve been able to regroup and get in some good hours on the training pitch,” giant defender Taylor added, “which you sometimes miss when you have got a lot of games.
“At this level, you don’t really get many bigger games than one against Leeds.
“We’re all going into it full of anticipation and excitement.
“This game is a good one; the stadium will be packed, it’s a derby and everyone going out on the pitch will know how big it is.”
Despite the fixture being chosen for Sky coverage, Wednesday are expecting a bumper crowd of over 27,000 and Taylor added: “I’m sure that the fans will cheers us on and get right behind us against Leeds.
“That’s really important; their support keeps us going and this would be the ideal game to get back on track against local rivals.”
Warnock, meanwhile, has joined Owls chairman Milan Mandaric in publicly backing Dave Jones. “I like Milan and Dave; they did a great job in getting Wednesday up,” Warnock said.
“I know things have not gone too well lately but it’ll turn round.
“Under a manager as experienced as Dave, Wednesday will soon start getting the points together.
“It takes time but they will get there.”
Leeds could field four ex-Blades players at Hillsborough, with Paddy Kenny, Michael Tonge and Michael Brown all expected to start while Andy Gray should be on the bench.
Midfielder Rodolph Austin is a doubt due to an ankle injury.
For Wednesday, Taylor could be reinstated to the starting line-up after Jones partnered Miguel Llera and Anthony Gardner together for the Hull defeat.
Gary Madine is also in contention for a start after scoring twice for Wednesday’s development squad against Sheffield United last week.
“I’ve never had a run in the Championship and I’m absolutely itching for one,” he said.