Sheffield Wednesday: Play-off fight will go down to wire, predicts Joe

Owls defender Joe Mattock
Owls defender Joe Mattock
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Left-back Joe Mattock believes the battle for a top-six finish will go right down to the wire.

Sheffield Wednesday’s bid to qualify for the end of season play-offs suffered a major setback when they lost 2-1 at home to Bolton Wanderers in their last outing.

Stuart Gray’s lie ninth in the Championship, 10 points adrift of the top-six with 20 matches remaining.

Mattock, now fully fit following a thigh injury, told The Star: “We are still aiming for the top six. We have got to keep pushing for them.

“The play-offs will go down to the wire. The Championship is unpredictable. Teams at the bottom are capable of beating teams near the top.

“Hopefully we will be in and around the play-offs come the end of the season.”

Due to Birmingham City’s involvement in the FA Cup, Gray’s troops had no match last weekend. They welcome the Blues, who have former Owls defender Michael Morrison in their ranks, to Hillsborough tonight before a trip to 18th-placed Reading on Saturday.

“It is a massive period for us,” acknowledged Mattock. “Hopefully we can pick up a couple of positive results from the next two or three matches and get closer to the play-offs.

“We have definitely got the quality to do well against the likes of Birmingham, Reading and Cardiff.”

Owls triumphed 2-0 at Birmingham in September but Mattock, pushing for a first-team recall at the expense of Claude Dielna, expects it to be a much tighter affair this time around.

He conceded: “It is going to be tough.

“Birmingham have been on a good run and they seem to have picked up quite a few positive results under a new manager.

“They have got some real momentum so we know we have got to be at our best to get the three points.”