Date:Wednesday September 20 2006
This Saturday the Owls come up against Billy Davies' Derby County at Hillsborough. Vital Sheffield Wednesday talks to Rams fan Ben Kay about his side's chances...
1. Hows your start to the new campaign panned out?
As expected really. A lot of people hoped to be higher up after what happened in pre-season and the appointment of Billy Davies, but I knew it would take time to mount a promotion challenge. We've signed a few good players but we've also let our better players go so it's going to take time to gel together but I think we have a good side in the making. We're yet to see a home win like yourselves but have done well away so Saturday will certainly be interesting!
2. What do you think to Billy Davies?
I was delighted when we managed to get him. I thought he may want to stay at PNE after the progress he'd made with them but it's all credit to the board for bringing him to Pride Park. We haven't got off to the best of starts but I've seen enough to know he's going to make us into a good team. His signings have been good and although we've let some good players go he's done good business in all his dealings so far in my opinion. Did the business at PNE and I've no doubt he can do it here given time.
3. Any comings and goings over the summer at Pride Park?
Plenty. We've let Idiakez go to Southampton but it was inevitably what with the Burley link and all. He's a legend here and it was devastating to see him go but we have to move on. We let Tommy Smith go to Watford as well recently. Again we did a good bit of business getting £500,000 for him. Our biggest signing was Steve Howard from Luton - undoubtedly a great player in his own right but at £1m he seems a bit pricey for an old bloke! But hopefully he'll be able to bag us the goals this season. We got Mo Camara and youngster Ryan Smith too and have recently signed Rob Malcolm and Matt Oakley. Looks like we're putting a decent side together.
4. What are your expectations?
I'm a realist and although I believe Davies will be able to get us to the play-offs in quick time, it may be a bit too quick this season. He still needs to get rid of the rubbish and bring in his own team so maybe next season we can mount a realistic push for promotion. This season though I think mid-table or just above will be the best we can hope for after the disastrous season we had last season.
5. It's like Burton and Tudgay will be facing you on Saturday - what are your thoughts on them?
Both decent players in their own time with us. Burton gave his all for us when we were in the Premiership and they were special days for us when we first got promoted. But I think he might be a bit past it now, although he seems to be doing OK for you. I shouldn't have said that should I? He's going to score against us now! Most people loved Tudgay when he was there but for reasons I can't go in to he had to move on. He was here since a little nipper and had ties with the club. He wasn't a bad player either. Would like to see him do well for you but after Saturday!
6. If you could take one player from Wednesday to Derby who would it be and why?
Chris Brunt seems to be the best player but I also know a lot of you are calling for him to buck his ideas up! I don't think Davies goes for fancy dan players so I'll probably have to say Bougherra who's looked good when you've been on sky or I'd Tudgay back otherwise!
7. And if you could send one Derby player to Hillsborough?
Harsh question! And one I couldn't possibly answer! we have a pretty new teams that's just gelling together so I'll let you know in the return fixture!
8. What's your most memorable Owls V Rams match?
It just has to be the 3-3 at Pride Park when we were both in the Premiership, hasn't it? Sorry to rub it in, but it's a game I'll never forget (and I'm sure you won't either!). I remember wanting to leave the ground in a huff when Donnelly scored for you to make it 3-1 but my mates wouldnt leave so I had to stay, and we got in stoppage time! Never been so happy about a draw before and doubt I will be again!
9. How do you think Wednesday will do this season?
I don't think you'll be too dis-similar to us if I'm being honest. Not good enough in quality to push for the play-off spots but enough in there to avoid any danger of relegation unlike last season. Looks like you're building a decent team but its going to take time. Hopefully we can get revenge and get the double over you this season!
10. And finally, what do you think the score will be?
We've been pretty good away from home this season so far and poor at home so I fancy us to get something from the game. I'm going to say it'll be 1-1 because it seems your desperate for points at home and will be going all out for the win. Tudgay for you (has to be, doesnt it?) and Lupoli for us! Good luck!
CHEERS BEN! Good luck for the rest of the season...
Next up: SUNDERLAND!
Date:Wednesday September 20 2006
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