Head coach Stuart Gray believes Sheffield Wednesday’s next five matches will define their season.
The Owls, sitting 11th in the Championship after a worrying run of six matches without a win, face Derby, Millwall, Middlesbrough, Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool in the next fortnight.
Despite their recent slump in form which now sees them trailing sixth-placed Norwich City by 13 points, Gray refuses to rule out the possibility of Wednesday gategrashing the play-offs.
The Owls boss, who is still sweating over the fitness of midfield enforcer Jose Semedo (ankle/toe infection), said: “This is a vital period for us. We’ve got five games in two weeks.
“These fives games, which I would class as a mini season, are very important and the squad will be stretched to its limit. We will know by the end of the fifth game whether we will realistically be pushing for the play-offs or whether we are going to finish midtable.
“There are 15 points to play for and I’ve told the players ‘let’s go for it’.”
After back-to-back away defeats, Gray is demanding an improved display at third-placed Derby.
“Nobody gives us a chance so we go there as the underdogs,” he added.