Wolves 2 Sheffield Wednesday 1: Semedo detects that same scent of promotion for Wednesday

Owls captain Jose Semedo, out of contract in the summer, salutes the travelling fans.Owls captain Jose Semedo, out of contract in the summer, salutes the travelling fans.
Owls captain Jose Semedo, out of contract in the summer, salutes the travelling fans.
Jose Semedo believes Sheffield Wednesday can emulate the class of 2012 and win promotion this month.

The 31-year-old Portuguese midfielder, along with right-back Liam Palmer, are the two players left from the Owls side who won automatic promotion under Dave Jones four years ago.

Both played in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Wolves as current chief Carlos Carvalhal made 10 changes from the team which beat Cardiff City – to secure a play-off spot – with one eye on Friday’s semi-final first leg with Brighton. Included in the Wolves team was defender Danny Batth, a loan player in that Wednesday promotion side of 2012.

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Wednesday fell behind when recalled central defender Michael Turner deflected Matt Doherty’s cross from the left into his net in the seventh minute.

Doherty was also the creator of Wolves’ second when he rolled a centre into the path of George Saville, who made no mistake from 14 yards.

Lewis McGugan converted a late penalty after Doherty had handled Liam Palmer’s cross.

Carvalhal was always going to use Wolves as a chance to utilise his squad, to avoid injuries or suspensions to key players.

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Even though Semedo is likely to revert to a place on the substitutes’ bench for the play-offs, he is backing Wednesday to reach the Premier League.

In 2012, the Owls embarked on a 14-match unbeaten run to pip city rivals Sheffield United for automatic promotion.

This year, Wednesday emerged from the pack to grab the final play-off spot, to leave Carvalhal believing his side are “underdogs”.

But Semedo can see similarities between the two teams, and says the buzz in the is exactly the same.

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“In the dressing room it’s the same feeling, and I am sure the fans who have been with us since then feel the same,” said Semedo.

“The dressing room, our momentum, the performances just keep getting better and better and it’s just been an incredible journey.

“The play-offs are special, completely different to the leagues.”

Semedo’s Owls future is uncertain as he is out of contract in the summer but he was handed the captaincy at Molineux in what could be one of his final appearances in a Wednesday shirt.

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He received a standing ovation at the final whistle from the 4,400 travelling supporters, having become a cult hero since moving from Charlton Athletic in 2011.

He has made over 150 appearances in Wednesday’s engine room, but has been mainly used as a squad player this season such has been the form of players like Sam Hutchinson, Alex Lopez, Barry Bannan and Kieran Lee.

If it is to be his ‘farewell,’ Semedo made a tearful exit, and admitted: “I have been through some emotional times with this club. It’s hard not to be emotional with all the fans screaming your name.

“When I retire I will live in Sheffield because I really like the city, and the people.

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“I don’t know what my future holds – if it’s still at this club – but whatever happens this club will always be in my heart.”

At 31, Semedo still has several playing years ahead of him. A no-nonsense midfield enforcer, he was a key member of that League One side that won promotion and would be in high demand.

Despite the defeat against Wolves, Carvalhal defended his decision to make 10 changes and added: “There are a lot of positives from the afternoon.

“The negative is the score, of course, and the way that we played for the first 20 to 30 minutes.

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“Some of the players have not played 90 minutes for a long time and the co-ordination in the beginning was not perfect and Wolves scored two goals.

“But the second half was very strong from my team, the way we reacted and tried to win the game. We scored and finished the game very positively.

“We are finishing the game more fresh than our opponents, physically and emotionally, even with players who are not used to playing 90 minutes.

“We needed to give these players an opportunity because now they will be more ready, having played 90 minutes today, if we need them in the play-offs.”

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Wolverhampton Wanderers: Ikeme, Iorfa, Batth, Hause,Doherty, Wallace (Le Fondre 46), Price, Coady, Saville, Henry, Mason (Edwards 76). Unused substitutes: Byrne, Martinez, Deslandes, Hunte, Enobakhare.

Sheffield Wednesday: Wildsmith, Palmer, Sasso, Turner, Helan, McGeady, Semedo, McGugan, Marco Matias, Lucas Joao, Nuhiu (Stobbs 79). Unused substitutes: Loovens, Hooper, Lopez, Hunt, Price, Bannan.

Referee: D Bond (Lancashire).

Man of the match: Jose Semedo.