Vital Reading season preview
Club: Sheffield Wednesday F.C.
Nickname: The Owls
Ground: Hillsborough Stadium (Capacity: 39,732)
When we face off: Sat 2nd November (A), Sat 8th February (H)
Last season finish: 18th – Championship
Manager: Dave Jones – The former Cardiff manager is one of the more experienced bosses in the Championship, which could work in Wednesday’s favour. After achieving promotion from League One in 2012, life in the Championship was quite a step up for the Owls, who struggled to adapt to the second tier. Despite this and Jones’ head being called for by some sections of the Hillsborough crowd, Jones remained as manager and guided them out of the relegation mess last season.
Key player: Michail Antonio – A familiar name to most Royals fans, the winger moved on from the Madejski Stadium last year to play regular first team football for Wednesday and he has established himself as one of their best players. Antonio possesses great power and pace, but his end product in a Reading shirt always seemed to let him down. However, he finally seems to be maturing in Sheffield and will be a very useful asset to Dave Jones this season, if he stays injury free.
Season Preview – As mentioned earlier, Wednesday have struggled on their return to the Championship, but will feel they have what it takes now to not only survive in the division, but also thrive in it. The signing of Jeremy Helan is also a massive plus, giving them good pace on both wings. It wouldn’t surprise me if Jones was to bring in a striker before the season’s start to, giving competition to Madine, Maguire and new acquisition Nuhiu. I can see Wednesday sitting comfortably in midtable this season, but could push higher if they start well.