Sheffield Wednesday: Liam Palmer sees similarities between now and class of ‘11-12

PART of a Sheffield Wednesday squad who were promoted from the third tier a decade ago, Liam Palmer spies similarities with the club’s class of 2021-22.

It is his devout hope of the defender and everyone connected with the club that this season concludes in a similar fashion.

Now a senior player at the age of 30, Palmer – speaking ahead of tonight’s League One play-off semi-final first leg at Sunderland – recalls a 2011-12 squad rich in experience alongside a smattering of younger players who stayed strong and kicked on in the second half of a campaign to clinch promotion.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The bedrock of that particular team under first Gary Megson and then Dave Jones was home form, as with the current side.

Owls defender Liam Palmer. Picture: Steve Ellis

Ten years ago, the Owls claimed 55 points at Hillsborough – this season it has been 53.

On the comparisons, Palmer said: “One hundred per cent. I think that the formula that season was a mix of youth and experience and there were some characters who you looked at and they just knew how to get the job done and what it took.

“As a young player, you looked up to them and it really filled you with confidence.

“Looking at the squad now, there’s probably even more experience, especially with the last few starting sides; touching their late 20s and early 30s.

“Hopefully, we can draw on that at certain times in the games and the occasion as a whole and that can bode well for us.”

For those Owls players still at the club who were left crestfallen on the turf at Derby County on a shattering afternoon last May when the club were relegated at the end of a turbulent campaign on and off the pitch, they will need little motivation in their quest to turn things around ahead of the start of their play-off odyssey this evening.

The cathartic moment would be reserved for Wembley on May 21 and if Wednesday are the team who are the last ones standing following the play-offs, then it will prove the final chapter to one particular story.

Scottish international Palmer added: “That’s why the ones who have stayed have done; for that exact reason off the back of a difficult few years.

“They are keen to stay and get the job done and flip things on its head and get back to the Championship.”