Sheffield Wednesday v Coventry City: Josh Windass on a mission for Owls supporters and 'Pete, the kit man'

Sheffield Wednesday v Coventry CityJOSH Windass’ future was an understandable topic of conversation when he addressed the media at Sheffield Wednesday’s pre-match conference.

He is among a host of Owls players whose deals expire this summer. With less than six months left on his deal, he can now sign a pre-contract with any team outside of England should he wish and he has suitors in the US and South America.

Real Salt Lake are among those said to be keen in the MLS, while Argentine outfit Club Atlético Talleres - who have monitored his situation for some time - are also interested.

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Windass – who is yet to speak with the club regarding a potential new deal - remains relaxed over his situation and has also provided some refreshing perspective as well.

Sheffield Wednesday forward Josh Windass. Picture: Steve Ellis.Sheffield Wednesday forward Josh Windass. Picture: Steve Ellis.
Sheffield Wednesday forward Josh Windass. Picture: Steve Ellis.

A talented footballer capable of playing in several forward roles, the 30-year-old will not be short of offers if he does leave Wednesday. Or he could stay.

If the worst happens and the club are relegated, any players who choose to leave the club or who are released will get fixed up elsewhere.

For those unsung heroes and stalwarts who work behind the scenes at football clubs and invariably bleed the club’s colours, the ramifications can be more serious.

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Windass has spoken before about how playing in pressure games with an extra edge brings out the best in him. Think back to last May’s League One play-off final for insurance, when he grabbed a dramatic last-gasp winner to break Barnsley hearts at Wembley.

He is likely to have several more to negotiate between now and the end of the season as Wednesday fight to save their Championship skins.

For one good reason, he wishes it was different.

Windass said: "Playing in big pressure games is a good thing, but playing in relegation games are not something I signed up for... But it is what it is.

"You’d rather be tenth and not fighting relegation than being near relegation, although at the same time, you’d rather be at the top end of the table competing for prizes.

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"The games (now) have a lot of pressure on them. It’s not just football players, but people at the club who could lose jobs if you get relegated. That’s who we are kind of playing for as we are all going to be all right in the end, I guess.

"It’s for the people here and the fans. There’s people who work behind the scenes at the club and the club means a lot more to them than the players, obviously.

"So the players have obviously got to take that on themselves to fight for the fans and the people. Like Pete, the kit man and the people who have been here for years who it just means everything to. You see that every day and don’t want to lose sight of that."

High-pressure situations require mental strength and that is an area where Windass is unlikely to be found wanting in that regard before a final ball is kicked in May.

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At the start of his career, he can recall the pain of being released by Huddersfield Town without ever playing a first-team game before getting his career back on track in semi-professional circles at Harrogate Railway – while also briefly working as a construction labourer.

He continued: "It was the worst six or seven weeks of my life, to be honest. I broke my leg in three places. Lee Clark told me I didn’t have to worry about anything, I broke my leg and then three weeks later, he got sacked and I got released.

"So I had to go and get a job for a little while. But I always knew that once I’d recovered that I’d be fine because of my ability and mental strength.”