Sheffield Wednesday legend Chris Waddle has backed his former team to earn a ‘statement’ win to stake their claim as League One’s best side prior to Tuesday night’s clash with league leaders Plymouth Argyle. Speaking exclusively to, Waddle said:

“My heart says Wednesday will beat Plymouth…[Sheffield] Wednesday are playing really well and they’ve got some experienced players… I think if Wednesday can win that game, it’s a massive statement to say ‘we’re the best team in this division.’”

However, the ex-Owls midfielder warned that going to Plymouth and earning three points will be no easy task.

“My head says it’s going to be a tough game… I watched Plymouth against Ipswich last week and they looked good. They play nice football, they’re a good outfit, well organised and well drilled. Danny Mayor is a good player. He’s been around for a while and he’s a very good technical player, a bit like Barry Bannan.”

Waddle also warned Owls manager Darren Moore of the importance of a win against Plymouth for his job safety, higlighting the unpredictable nature of club owner Dejphon Chansiri. 

“If Darren Moore can’t get his players ready to show some desire and have them feeling like they can’t wait to get on the park, to play Plymouth then there’s something wrong, because, without a shadow of a doubt, it’s a massive game for Sheffield Wednesday.

“Management is such an unpredictable job. There have many been times in the past 18 months when a lot of the fans have been calling for Darren Moore’s head. He’s weathered the storm and he’s picked up big results when he needed them. He’s getting results at the minute. Plymouth is a big, big game for them. If they can get a win there it’d be a big statement.

“With Darren, it’s been hard. It seems like one match, everyone’s happy, the next match not too negative, and then the third match, everyone calls him rubbish. So, the fans are still mixed on him… So whether Darren Moore is the man for Sheffield Wednesday, only time will tell. If results go wrong, he’s not the man and he’ll get the sack. If he takes them up to the Championship, it’ll be interesting to see what they offer him, and if they think ‘this is another level, we may get another manager in’ – nobody knows, especially when it comes to what Chansiri is thinking. Darren is a likeable guy, and he’s honest. So far, so good for him and I hope he takes them up.”

Regardless of the outcome, the ex-England international is confident about the club’s return to English football’s second tier.

“I’d love them [Sheffield Wednesday] to go back up. Last year they came close again but weren’t quite good enough. Some players have moved on, but they’ve brought in a lot of players who are more experienced. Wednesday is still a big scalp. Every game they play, everybody wants to beat Sheffield Wednesday.

“At the start of the season if someone asked me who will get out of League 1, I’d say Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich, and I stick by that. I think this will be the year Sheffield Wednesday go up… All the teams around the top haven’t got the squads the size of Wednesday’s, so once other teams get two or three injuries they’ll find them hard to replace. I think Wednesday has two or three players for each position.”

While confident about promotion from League One this season, Waddle is less optimistic about life in The Championship next, pointing to the club’s ability to recruit as an area of weakness.

“When they go up they’ve got to start again, because, no disrespect to that team, but there are probably two or three players who couldn’t handle the Championship. If you haven’t got the money, and I don’t think Wednesday have got the money as such, you won’t be able to compete at the top half.

“You need to look at teams like Luton and the scouting system where they find these players, bring them on and handle the league and have a great season. Luton had a great season last season. Huddersfield has a small budget but good scouting and good loans. This is where Wednesday have struggled for me the last few years. They don’t seem to have that system in place to find these players.”