Ahead of tonight’s Yorkshire Derby against Sheffield Wednesday, Keith Ingham spoke to Louis Shackshaft about all things Owls.
How long have you supported ‘The Owls’?
I was born in 1986 and have supported Sheffield Wednesday ‘officially’ since 1991 after our 1-0 League Cup win over Manchester United. It was during the same campaign we was promoted to the Premier League, it’s a season I’ll never forget despite only being 5 years old.
What’s your favourite moment as a Wednesday fan. Season, game or any other occasion?
The strike by John Sheridan to secure our League Cup win has always been my favourite moment. However, more recently, the 3-1 aggregate victory over Brighton were both great occasions during the playoff journey. The playoff final versus Hull will also live long in the memory despite being on the wrong end of the result, it was a fantastic day out, one that I’ll always remember.
Tell us about a player that you were proud to have on the back of a shirt, if you didn’t is there one you wished you would have?
When I was a teenager I would have said Paolo Di-Canio, I had his name printed my Owls away shirts on a couple of occasions, but ultimately it has to be Chris Waddle. He was an exceptional talent and became a legend amongst us Wednesdayites.
I could list a thousand players that I wished had worn the Wednesday shirt, but, if I’m to be realistic I would have loved for us to have signed Eric Cantona after his trial stint before joining Leeds United, what a difference he could have made and one you can relate to.
What’s your most memorable match playing Leeds?
Definitely our 6-0 victory only four years ago. Not a lot separated the sides on paper so such a comprehensive and convincing victory came as a huge surprise, especially as we had such a bang average side with no superior players. It was a great day and out and there were some cracking goals. I don’t think anybody would have predicted that result.
Are you happy with your dealings in this summer’s transfer market?
Considering we were under a transfer embargo since April, yes, 100%. Barry Bannan and Lucas Joao both extended theirs stays at the club and both Michael Hector and Josh Onomah were signed on season long loans. Early indications suggest they will settle in well, plus it gives us more strength and depth in both attack and defence.
What’s your realistic aim for the season?
A realistic aim would be to finish in the top half, my head tells me Wednesday will probably finish somewhere between 10th and 12th. My heart, however, suggests there is no reason why we can’t push for the playoffs. With a little bit of luck on the injury front and a very good run of form then 6th would be an outstanding achievement. As you know, anything can happen this league.
Who in your mind is going to be promoted this season?
Obviously Leeds are the team to beat at the minute, I expect them to be up there. If I was a betting man though, I would put my money on Middlesbrough under Tony Pulis. I’m also impressed with West Brom, they have started the campaign stronger than I expected. They would be my three, one of them via the playoffs.
Can you name your three for relegation this year?
Before a ball was kicked, the three I tipped for relegation were QPR, Bolton and Rotherham. All of them have have a decent run of form recently, but, I’ll stick to my word knowing the Championship is a long hard gruelling season. I’m also concerned for Ipswich of the current teams sat in the bottom three, they lack a lot of fire power and I can’t see them turning things around at present.
Who’s your danger man?
I could name a few, obviously Fernando Forestieri and Adam Reach spring to mind but I’m going to say Barry Bannan. The little Scot has been a maestro in our midfield this season and is probably one of the best players in the Championship this campaign so far. He often controls the game and is capable of goals as well as assists.
Can you tell us about a rising star in the youth ranks?
We’re lucky that I could name quite a few at present, something I’ve not been able to say for what seems like forever. Both our goalkeepers Dawson and Wildsmith have great futures ahead of them, but, breaking in to the team this season are Ash Baker, Jordan Thorniley and Matt Penney. All three have settled in to the Owls team very comfortably and are all 21 years of age or under.
Prediction and scorers for the game?
Wednesday are yet to keep a clean sheet in the league this season and I expect that continue in this fixture. It seems Wednesday have found a common theme of scoring two goals at home, so, for that reason I’ll predict a 2-2 draw. I think it will be a very entertaining end to end contest. Predicting scorers is always difficult but I’ll go with Reach and Fletcher for the Owls and Douglas and Alioski for Leeds.
We’d like to thank Louis for taking the time to answer our questions and wish him the best of luck for the season.
By Keith Ingham