Tom Lees has ordered his Sheffield Wednesday teammates to get ready for the “biggest seven weeks” of their careers, as the club aim to clinch promotion to the Premier League.
Carlos Carvalhal’s charges tightened their grip on the final Championship play-off place by cruising past troubled Charlton Athletic 3-0 at Hillsborough last weekend.
After back-to-back victories and six goals without reply, optimism is high Wednesday can figure in the play-off shake-up come the middle of May.
But Lees, fresh from claiming his third goal in Owls colours, is urging the team to stay grounded ahead of their final eight league fixtures.
The centre-half told The Star: “I think everyone in the dressing room is in the same mood; we are really focused. It’s probably the biggest seven weeks in a lot of our careers.
“We have to live our jobs for the next seven weeks, really knuckle down, be together and professional.”
Saturday’s victory saw them stretch their lead over seventh-placed Cardiff City to three points and they also boast a far superior goal difference over the Bluebirds and the rest of the chasing pack.
“As soon as we came in after the Charlton game, we checked the results, and they went really well for us,” said Lees.
“It gave us a big lift, and when you look at the last few weeks - we haven’t picked up as many wins as we would have liked - but we have got some good points, Hull and Brighton were good points, and Forest was a big win.
“It’s nice to see other teams around you (dropping points), it’s not just us.
“We don’t want to get too carried away, but we know if we want to get in the play-offs, the last two games we won were games we should win. But it’s nice to give us that confidence going into the international break.”
Attacking full-back Jack Hunt was stretchered off late on against Charlton but is expected to be fit to face his old club Huddersfield Town after the two-week break.
Winger Aiden McGeady had been included in the initial 40-man Republic of Ireland squad for their upcoming friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia and maintained his place following a cut to 33 players, but Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood has been ommited .