2009-2010 Championship Previews

Last updated : 06 August 2009 By Rob Miles (barnsley Boy)

Manager: Brian Laws

Odds to win: 33/1. Odds for Promotion: 10/1


Position: 12th W:16 D:13 L:17 F:51 A:58 Points: 61

Top Scorer: Marcus Tudgay (14)

FA Cup: Third Round

League Cup: First Round

Yellows: 53 Reds: 5

Results against Reds:

21/10/08 Barnsley 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday. 17/2/09 Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Barnsley


Name: Chris Morris (www.sheffieldwednesday-mad.co.uk)

Club: Sheffield Wednesday

Level of Interest:( I.e Now and then, Every other week, season ticket holder etc)

Season ticket holder & around 1 in 3 away games.

How has pre-season gone for you?

Are you pleased with the signings your club has made?

We have added a good deal of experience to our side which should help the young players. Darren Purse will lead the team next season and has done this to good effect for teams towards the top end of the Championship in the not so distant past. Tommy Miller will hopefully add a threat of goals from central midfield which we haven't had enough of in recent seasons.

Michael Gray and Darren Potter both made positive impressions on loan with us at the back end of last season and bring added stability, shape and creativity to the team.

If we lose Marcus Tudgay we will definitely need to replace him with either a prospect who has a proved he can score goals in the lower leagues or a highly rated Premier League youngster on loan.

Tudgay's goals and also his work rate and team play were key to most successes we enjoyed last season but if he really doesn't want to stay then we should sell but only at the right price, which is more than £1.5M.

What realistically are you aiming for this season?

Well we finished 12th last season and have so far added more in terms of quality than we have let go so an improvement on that would be realistic. A top 10 finish should be achievable and if the play-offs are in range come Easter time then who knows.

Which player has past his sell by date?

Francis Jeffers must surely be on his last chance with the club. A large proportion of the available budget two seasons ago was spent on the striker once labelled as the fox in the box in the Premier League but he has spent most of the time on the treatment table. When he did make a return to the fold last season he often looked a shadow of his former self and has got much to prove at Hillsborough.

Have you got the right manager in charge?

Brian Laws has done a good job on a budget that has been low compared to most other sides in the division in his time at Wednesday but this season it seems he has a bit more to work with and so some improvement will be expected. There is little doubt that he seems able to pull the dressing room together and create a good spirit.. Our local derby results under him highlight this (other than last seasons games against Barnsley of course which we hope to put right from game 1!)

As with any manager his tactical decisions, particularly some of his substitutions come in for criticism when the team is not doing so well and it also took an alarmingly long time to address our dire defensive away record last season, especially considering we had the best defensive record in the division at home.

What advice would you give him?

We had the best defence at home last season so I would say don't change too much at home but away we were woeful at the back and so a change of approach to away matches may be needed. For this reason I am surprised that we seemingly haven't been on the look out for a tough tackling midfielder to support the back four, particularly in away games.

Who do you see as your key player?

Much will be expected of our strikers and wide players, especially if we lose Tudgay. Akpo Sodje and Etienne Esajas have shown their ability but sadly this has been overshadowed by the amount of time spent on the treatment table. Jermaine Johnson is something of an enigma. On his day he is a match for any full-back in the division but all too often he doesn't produce his best consistently enough.

Who would you most like to beat this season?

23 other teams in the Championship - twice! Having finally done the double over the Blades after a near 100 year wait it would be nice to extend their recent win-less run against us and obviously we would like to kick-off the season in style against you lot. It was very disappointing to lose to you twice last season but in all fairness we didn't deserve anything from either game and we would hope the players give a much better account of themselves this time around.

Where will you finish?


How do you rate Barnsley's chances next season and where do you think they will finish?

Hard to say without being too close to the club. I have seen you have been linked with a few decent strikers but so far your new signings don't suggest a great improvement and the loss of your German goal keeper must be a blow.

I don't think you will be in the bottom 3 but its hard to predict anything above around 16th.