Dawson wary of relegation threat as Sheffield Wednesday look for FA Cup relief

Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Cameron Dawson admits the club are in danger of sliding into a Sky Bet Championship relegation battle.

The Owls sit 17th, seven points above the bottom three after Saturday’s home defeat to Aston Villa andhead to former boss Carlos Carvalhal’s Swansea on Tuesday night seeking solace in their FA Cup fifth-round replay.

‘I’d say right now we’re not directly in a relegation fight, but in this league another couple of (bad) results and we could be right in it,’ said Dawson, who is expected to return to the starting line-up at the Liberty Stadium.

‘So it’s important to put a few wins on the board in the league and maybe get climbing up that table to distance ourselves from that relegation fight.’

The Owls have won just one of eight league games under latest manager Jos Luhukay, but Dawson refuses to blame their plight solely on a horrendous injury list.

Luhukay inherited a squad shorn by multiple long-term injuries to key players when he replaced Carvalhal in early January and there have been more casualties since.

More than a dozen first-team players were unavailable for the defeat to Villa, including the likes of Fernando Forestieri, Barry Bannan, Tom Lees, Keiren Westwood, Gary Hooper and Sam Hutchinson.

‘I think they need some more physio beds in the treatment room,’ Dawson said. ‘I’ve never come across anything like it, we’ve been very unlucky in that sense.

‘But there’s more than enough in this squad, even with the injuries. The lads we’ve got fit, there’s plenty, so I think we’ll be fine.

‘It’s just a case of getting on with it, keep working, keep grafting. The players who are fit, we’ve still got more than enough quality to be climbing up that league.’

The Owls overcame Carlisle in a third-round replay and beat Reading 3-1 in the fourth round before drawing 0-0 at Hillsborough against Swansea in the original fifth-round tie.

A possible plum home quarter-final against Tottenham awaits the winners – Mauricio Pochettino’s side play Rochdale in a replay on Wednesday – and Dawson believes victory in south Wales would be a major boost.

‘It would mean a lot obviously,’ he added. ‘It’s not been the season we would have hoped for when we set out.

‘So it would mean a lot to the feelgood factor around this place. Hopefully we can go to Swansea and try and get something.

‘A bit of feelgood factor, a bit of positivity around the place can hopefully help breed wins in the league as well.

‘The FA Cup is a great competition, the history of it, and if we win this game we’re in the quarter-finals with a big game to come.’

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