Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Röhl has revealed that he has a list in mind of players he would like to remain at Hillsborough next season.
The Owls earned promotion back to the Championship last season following a dramatic play-off final victory against Barnsley in May. Their return to the second tier proved to be a nightmare, with Xisco Munoz leaving the club after just three months in charge after failing to pick up a single league win.
In came Röhl and although the Yorkshire side still remain six points from safety, they have won three of their last four outings to considerably close the gap on those above them.
The German will be looking forward to his first transfer window next month and the opportunity to strengthen his squad. Aside from that, Röhl has to contend with a number of his squad entering the final few months of their current deal. Up to 10 players could depart the club in the summer, with Di’Shon Bernard, Will Vaulks, Liam Palmer, Dominic Iorfa, Cameron Dawson, Josh Windass, Barry Bannan, Tyreeq Bakinson, George Byers, and Lee Gregory all out of contract in the summer.
This means it is set to be a busy few months at S6 and the manager has revealed he already knows which players he would like to retain next season, regardless of what division they will be playing in. Speaking to The Star, the 34-year-old said:
“I have a list of who I want to extend, and this is for the next weeks and months, we have to do it… I have to speak to the players and agents to give them a signal of which direction we’re moving in, and it’s a big topic. Honestly though, right now our position is that we have to fight to stay in the league and then we have to look in both directions.
“We can’t close our eyes, we have to prepare for both. But yeah, we have a clear plan of what we want to do in the next weeks and months. It’s important that we know this, but even though I know it’s exciting for people with rumours I will not talk so much about this topic. If there’s something then I’ll tell you and the supporters, but just know that we’re doing all we can behind the scenes.”
Wednesday will be hoping to continue their recent good form tomorrow when they host Cardiff City before the tough trip to Coventry City on Boxing Day.
Danny Röhl arrived at Hillsborough as an unknown entity. However, he has done a wonderful job so far and has given Owls’ fans a genuine optimism that they could pull off the great escape – a feat which looked impossible only two months ago.
It won’t be helpful that there are so many players who are seeing their contracts run down, especially as reinforcements are expected to arrive in January. That said, the focus will be fully on the on-the-field antics and Wednesday will have a much better feel for where they’re at – or whether next season will bring Championship or League One football – within the next few months.