THE REST of the Premier League knew they would have to start taking Sheffield Wednesday seriously when a 2-1 victory over Newcastle gave David Pleat's team their second away win of the week, their third victory in three games, and the right to look down on the other 19 teams.
A reminder of those giddy heights scaled six years ago will only deepen the discontent of the club's supporters today as they gaze at a First Division table showing their team already a long way down the field after a repetition of the kind of start that has become all too familiar at Hillsborough.
No one could have guessed after the opening rounds of that 1996- 97 campaign that things would reach such a state six years later. Wednesday finished seventh that season, hung around a bit longer under Ron Atkinson and Danny Wilson, before their membership of the elite terminated after a stay of nine years.
Not that a drop in class brought about a revival of the club's fortunes with the scale of the club's financial plight proving an obstacle too formidable for the experience of Paul Jewell, Peter Shreeves and (so far) Terry Yorath to overcome. …