Ahead of Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday on Monday night, I chatted to my oldest mate, Ash Finney, who has been a Wednesday season ticket holder for the past 17 seasons.
Ash has been going to games since he was just 4 years old!
He was looking out for Newcastle away when the fixtures were released and will be up in level seven on Monday night.
Here’s our chat about Wednesday’s season in general and looking ahead to the game.
What have you made of Sheffield Wednesday’s season so far?
Position wise, we sort of expected to be in the top six by Christmas, however performances have been poor and we must improve if we are to finish in the play-off positions come the end of the campaign.
What do you make of Carlos Carvalhal? Were you happy with appointment initially and is he popular with supporters?
To be honest, I was a bit dubious about the appointment at first.
An unknown manager, in this country, been appointed by a big club was a massive gamble and one that paid off for Dejphon Chansiri (Sheff Wed owner).
Carlos is very popular with all the supporters at S6 and I hope he will be manager for years to come.
What should Sheffield Wednesday’s ambitions be?
Our ambitions for this season should be promotion, more likely through the play-offs, especially after only being 90 minutes away from the ‘promised land’ last term. We are long overdue a return to the Premier League.
Favourite memory as a Wednesdayite?
My favourite memory has to be winning the play-off final in 2005 (4-2 victory over Hartlepool). A great day out at the Millennium Stadium that was, although I must admit promotion in 2012 and the play-off final last season closely follow.
One Improvement that could be made at your club?
We need to bring in the right players. I believe us and Brighton were 2 or 3 players shy of gaining promotion last season. Unlike Brighton, we didn’t address our weaknesses in the summer and it’s starting to show.
Player of the season so far?
Has to be Sam Hutchinson. The guy is an absolute colossus Easily the stand out player for us this season.
The passion, the fight, the tackles and he’s added a few goals to his game too!
How has the season gone far, in respect to how you thought it would go in pre-season?
I thought we’d be in the play-offs at this stage of the season and we are, however, like I said earlier I didn’t think the performances would be this poor.
Any memories for you stand out of past Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday games (…please don’t mention your reserve team beating us in the League Cup last season!)?
Other than last season, the one that stands out for me is the season The Toon came down to Hillsborough on Boxing Day for that thrilling 2-2 draw.
It was a good display from us in an otherwise dire season – we ended up getting relegated on the final day.
Call it now, where will Sheffield Wednesday finish this season?
I think we will finish 5th this season. I won’t call the play-offs.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s game now, which Wednesday player should Toon fans watch out for?
Easy one – Fernando Forestieri.
He’d just started to hit form after the problem we had with him at the start of the season and then he got sent off, in stupid fashion, against Preston at home. This is also his first game back from suspension and will hopefully want to pay the fans back for his mistake.
What have you made of Newcastle’s season so far and where do you think we will finish?
You had a couple of losses which obviously most wouldn’t have expected on paper but then again that’s why I think that The Championship is one of, if not the, hardest in the world.
In my eyes, Newcastle were always going to go straight up and I think you will to be honest.
I expected you to be top at Christmas and I just can’t see a slip up.
The size of the club is one of the biggest in England and possibly in the Top 20 in Europe.
Right prediction time, score on Boxing Day?
I’m hoping we can keep Dwight Gayle quiet and if so, I’m going to say 1-1.
You can follow the author on Titter @JackLaceyHatton