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Interview with an Away fan: Sheffield Wednesday

TIAT spoke to an Owl ahead of the massive Yorkshire derby clash on Friday night.

Matthew Lewis

A chance to speak to a Sheffield Wednesday fan about a competitive fixture has been a long time coming due to our individual 'yo-yoing' between the English divisions.

Stu Seaton was king enough to share his thoughts ahead of the game at Hillsborough.

22nd in the league with eight points from ten games. Did you expect life to be this tough coming up from League One as one of the outside favourites?

I always expected it to be tough moving up a league but with some of the signings we've made I was quietly optimistic; our current run is more frustrating for me than it is concerning. I'm not sure many Wednesday fans really took much notice to being named 'outside favourites'.

Linking to that previous question, what were your expectations for the season?

Honestly I hadn't a clue how we would get on. I did say a top 10 finish is certainly achievable but I guess mid-table always seemed likely.

After a solid start, you've fell away slightly. Why do you think that is and do the fans still see Dave Jones as the man to take them forward?

Well we've signed a lot of players in a short space of time, and they seem to be added straight to the team. I've no doubt they're an improvement in terms of quality but in certain games we've looked like a bunch of strangers playing together. For me Dave Jones needs to find his best eleven and quickly. The fans definitely are still right behind him, he is a very good manager and I believe we'll turn the corner soon.

Like all teams in the Championship you seem to be going through a bad patch. Is it deserved or has luck just not been on your side?

Bit of both. We can't seem to defend recently. Like I said, it's frustrating seeing all our new signings not gelling as a team, to use another cliché. We were unlucky with some bizarre refereeing in the Hull City game, and have had stone wall penalty claims turned down both in that Hull game and away to Wolves which could, and would, have made big differences had they been correctly given. (excuses, excuses..)

Who do we need to watch out for on Friday?

Certainly Michail Antonio is a very good player for us. Fast, strong and skilful winger. Miguel Llera at CB certainly knows where the goal is and loan players Ross Barkley and Jay Bothroyd have bags of ability. Bothroyd has been under some harsh criticism from certain sections of the Hillsborough crowd recently, in my opinion.

What system do you think the Owls will be using for the game?

Hopefully 4-4-2 with someone partnering Bothroyd up front! We have been playing with one up front at the moment but I can see DJ changing that for Friday's game.

We're bringing plenty of fans to the game, are the Owls fans looking forward to it and what can we expect from the home support?

Oh yes. I doubt many honest people could disagree we're easily the two biggest clubs in Yorkshire. Wednesday fans are certainly excited for it. You can always expect a good atmosphere at Hillsborough. Especially if the visiting teams brings numbers which I'm fairly sure Leeds are going to. A certain Mr. Warnock adds extra interest...

What dangers and weaknesses do you see from Leeds?

Well from what I'm aware you're on a good run and looked very solid against a strong Everton team not so long ago. Some good youth players who have come through seem to be doing well with, and even the 'sewer rat' is scoring goals. Any Neil Warnock team will have a lot of fight and desire, and I'm certain he'll have your players fired up for this one. Dunno about weaknesses but it's hard to criticise any team looking at our current run.

What about your dangers and weaknesses?

Let's see.. strengths.. We're certainly capable of scoring goals from all across the team and have some very strong, physical players who aren't shy of getting stuck in. If the crowd get behind the team you can see the difference so I suppose the Hillsborough crowd is a strength. Some of the football we can play is very, very good we just haven't seen it in a while. In terms of weaknesses, well we have the worst defence in the league. That's a pretty glaring one. And with our current run, it will have knocked the players confidence no doubt, an early goal for either team might be huge in this one.

Any Leeds player you'd like at Hillsborough?

Rodolph Austin in our centre mid would be nice, he looks a very good player, always liked Luciano Becchio as well. I've noticed Sam Byram who seems very capable at this level for his age too.

Prediction for the match?

Like this entire season predictions are very difficult, but with the home crowd I'm hoping we finally see an end to this run. 2-1 to the Owls please.