The Championship is stronger this year than it was last season, according to Wednesday assistant coach Lee Bullen.
Carlos Carvalhal’s men go to leaders Newcastle United on Boxing Day seeking to bolster their promotion aspirations. The Owls are four points and one place higher than they were at this stage last campaign.
Bullen told The Star: “We raised the expectation levels with what we achieved last season but the three teams who came down from the Premier League increased the quality of the league in general. It is a tougher league this year and that is no disrespect to the three teams who went up and the three teams who came down.
“Newcastle, Aston Villa and Norwich are big, big football clubs with massive budgets and have spent a lot of money. I think Newcastle and Villa have spent over £100million between them so it’s a whole different ball game for the Championship and we know that.
“We have a very good group of players and we know we have the backing of a fantastic crowd.
“We have got to continue what we are doing and let’s see what happens going into the last 10 to dozen games of the season. It is down to us to keep putting pressure on the teams above us.
“We have to keep taking gradual steps and aim to catch the teams above us.”