Sheffield Wednesday midfielder Adam Reach insists that the Owls can gate crash the Championship play-offs places this season under Steve Bruce.
Wednesday sacked Jos Luhukay in mid-December with the club sat 18th in the Sky Bet Championship table. After a run of one win in 10 games, the Dutchman was given his P45, with the Owls holding the worst defensive record in the second tier.
In the 16 games since his departure, Wednesday have collected 31 points, the third highest in the division. Only Sheffield United (37) and Norwich City (34), who sit first and second in the league table respectively, have taken more points in that time.
🔢 Our run of form under Steve Bruce;
— Sheffield Wednesday (@swfc) March 21, 2019
Bruce was appointed as Luhukay’s successor in January but didn’t officially take charge of the club until February 1, due to prior commitments. Under his reign, the Owls remain unbeaten in 10 league matches, winning five and drawing five. In that time, Bruce’s side have kept seven clean sheets, conceding just six goals.
That hot streak of form has seen them move to 10th in the table, just two points behind sixth-placed Aston Villa, and five behind Middlesbrough in fifth.
Speaking after the Owls’ 1-1 draw with Derby County earlier this month, Reach believes that Wednesday have the capabilities of making the top six.
He said: “The Championship is a very, very tough division. You’ve only got to look and see how many big clubs are in it still to understand that. Sheffield Wednesday is one of them.
“It’s not going to be an easy task, but there are 10 games left to play and we’ve given ourselves a chance, which we didn’t think was possible after our poor first half of the season.
“We’ve got the belief in the dressing room that we’re good enough and we’ve got a manager who has a proven track record at getting teams promoted. If we continue this good run, then who knows where it will take us.”
January arrival Dominic Iofra grabbed a second-half equaliser at Pride Park for Wednesday after Bradley Johnson had opened the scoring for the Rams.
The big defender, who has been a hit so far at S6, has been impressed with the quality of the Owls’ squad since joining the club.
Before joining the Owls: 127 appearances – 1⃣ goal
Joins Owls on 31 January: 7 appearances – 3⃣ goals
— Sheffield Wednesday (@swfc) March 18, 2019
“Straight away from the first training session, you can see the quality within the group” Iorfa explained.
“We know that when we play our game, like the managers wants, we’re a match for anyone.
“We can create a lot of chances and at the back, we’ve been resolute recently. We have just got to keep it going.”
Bruce has four promotions on his CV, including pipping his new employers to promotion in the 2015 play-off final with Hull City.
The former Manchester United defender believes his side have given themselves a ‘squeak’ of nicking a spot in the play-offs.
— Sheffield Wednesday (@swfc) March 10, 2019
He said: “We’re there or thereabouts with not long left to go, so we’ve given ourselves a squeak. With the form we’re in, and the way this league works, who knows?
“We’ve got to try and turn some of these draws, which are okay, into wins. Unfortunately, I had too many of those at Villa and got the sack! They’re not much good to you at this point in the season.”