Sheffield Wednesday Set For Timely Boost Amid Relegation Battle

Sheffield Wednesday have received a boost to the survival credentials following the news that attacker Josh Windass is set to return to the squad this weekend.

The 30-year-old has been out of action since January. He was withdrawn at half time in the 0-0 draw with Watford and it was later revealed that he would miss a big chunk of the second half of the campaign with a muscle injury.

The Owls are currently in a scrap for Championship survival. After seeing an upturn in fortunes since Danny Rohl replaced Xisco Munoz in October, form has dropped in recent weeks, picking up one point from their last four outings.

Perhaps more worrying is that the Yorkshire side have shipped 11 goals in that quartet of games, scoring just once, and they now have just six games to save their season. Although 23rd in the table, they are just two points adrift of 21st-placed Plymouth Argyle, who made the decision to relieve Head Coach Ian Foster of his duties earlier this week.

A trip to Queens Park Rangers awaits on Saturday in what could be a season-defining clash. The Hoops had been one of the favourites to drop into League One but have pulled clear over the past few weeks to now sit six points above the drop zone.

Rohl has seen a number of his injured stars return to the squad during the Easter period, including Barry Bannan and Ian Poveda. However, Windass will further bolster the manager’s attacking options, with The Star claiming he is available for the fixture at Loftus Road.

Speaking after their defeat against Middlesbrough on Monday, the German hinted that the attacker will not be rushed back, similar to how he has dealt with other returning stars:

“One thing is to be available, the other is to be fit enough for the Championship.

“I think this is different, it’s not just to come into the squad or on the pitch immediately. You see it from some players that have come back from a long injury, maybe they are fit but they don’t have the rhythm, but especially now in this situation it’s about looking at who is in the rhythm and who can help you.”

The former Wigan Athletic man has three goals and two assists in 19 league outings this season, but is best remembered for his winning goal in the League One play-off final against Barnsley last May. He is out of contract at the end of the season, although talks were expected to take place prior to his injury.

Writer’s View

With Rohl’s policy of not rushing players back, Windass’ impact on the team for the remainder of the campaign could be limited. However, having the option of a player who has the ability to create a moment of magic is exactly what Sheffield Wednesday need right now.

The big task will be to not fall out of survival contention. QPR will be a tough game but is winnable. It is important that they get something out of that game to give themselves the best possible opportunity for the following five games. There are still several teams that could suffer relegation and the Owls will be hoping that they can do enough to remain in the second tier next season.

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