Sheffield Wednesday: Owls star calls for unity as new campaign looms

Tom Lees
Tom Lees

Fans should not expect too much too soon from Sheffield Wednesday’s new-look team.

That is the opinion of Owls defender Tom Lees as the new Championship season draws ever nearer.

Expectation levels have soared at Hillsborough following Wednesday’s big summer recruitment drive. The Owls have strengthened all departments of their team as they look to compete in the upper echelons of the division.

Fresh from signing a new contract extension, Lees has set his sights on helping Wednesday become genuine promotion candidates.

But the former Leeds United player has warned it may take the team some time to gel: “Everyone is excited about the new season,” he told The Star.

“There are great expectations with the takeover that has happened and all the new players coming in.

“This is a huge club so that expectation comes with the territory.

“But, equally we have got to be realistic about the changes that have happened in terms of the amount of staff and players who are new and the new way we are trying to play.

“We have got to stay together for the first few months as results might not go right. Then again, we might get off to a flier.

“Whatever happens, we have to stick together because in the long term I think the future of the club under the current owner is bright.”

Carlos Carvalhal’s men only triumphed twice in six pre-season fixtures, rounding off their programme by trouncing St Mirren 5-0 last Saturday.

Lees, one of Wednesday’s outstanding performers during the 2014/15 campaign, said: “Pre-season has been a mixed bag because we have got a lot of new players and they are coming in at different points.

“It’s hard to judge how we are looking in terms of what teams going to be playing Saturday. We have got so many new players so we are getting used to each other.

“It’s not just players. We’ve got new staff as well and a new pitch at Hillsborough so everything is brand new.

“The training is different too but we are all open minded and trying to adapt to it as best as we can because we are trying to support the manager.”

Lees, who is still looking to break his goal-scoring duck after 48 starts, said he never had any intention of leaving Wednesday, despite plenty of reported interest in his services.

“The owner made it very clear from day one that he wanted to keep me and I still had two years left on my contract,” he said. “I don’t think it was ever realistic that I would leave but I am happy we have put something together and I can focus on my football.”