Midfielder Lewis McGugan is adamant Sheffield Wednesday can still gatecrash the Championship play-offs despite their dip in form.
Stuart Gray’s charges welcome Cardiff City to Hillsborough tomorrow seeking to end a three-match winless run. Indeed, the Owls have won just once in five attempts in 2015, an impressive 2-0 triumph at Nottingham Forest. Their poor run of results has seen them slip to 10th in the standings, nine points adrift of the top-six positions.
But McGugan, who rejoined Wednesday on loan from Watford on transfer deadline day, believes they are capable of competing in the upper echelons of the division.
The Nottingham-born player, on loan with the Owls until the end of the season, has told The Star: “There are 18 games left and I’ve been in the Championship long enough to know you can never say never. There is always a team who finishes the season strongly and sneaks into the play-offs and I don’t see why that can’t be us.
“Every team is looking for consistency in this league. If you can put a run of three or four wins together, before you know it, you move up three or four places.
“We have got to take each game as it comes, concentrate on ourselves and try to get as many points as we possibly can between now and the end of the season. We have to take care of our jobs.”
McGugan enjoyed a productive loan spell with the Owls towards the end of 2014. He played seven times, adding quality and creativity to their midfield.
Now, having brought McGugan back to South Yorkshire, head coach Stuart Gray has challenged the 26-year-old to start chipping in with goals.
He said: “Lewis has given us a big lift. He is a familiar face. He has scored 40 plus goals from midfield so we know the quality he’s got.
“No disrespect to my midfield players, but I haven’t got any who is scoring goals on a regular basis so hopefully Lewis can do that for us.”
McGugan plans to have a chat with Gray to discuss his role in the side.
“I will have a conversation with the manager in the next couple of days and see where he sees me fitting in and what his plans are for me and we will go from there,” he said.
“We have to get him back up to match speed because he has not been involved at Watford. I will have to evaluate whether he is fit enough to start on Saturday.
Although McGugan is contracted to Watford until 2016, Gray has not ruled out turning his loan into a full-time switch in the future.
“We will evaluate that later,” he said. “We wanted to get him back and I’m just delighted we got the deal over the line.”