Wednesday chief gives assurance to Irvine

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Sheffield Wednesday chairman Lee Strafford has stressed manager Alan Irvine's position will not come under threat if he fails to save the club from relegation.

To ensure another season in the Championship the Owls must win at Hillsborough on Sunday against Crystal Palace, the side immediately above them in the table, who require only a point to escape the drop themselves on the final day.

Strafford, responding to speculation on Irvine's future, told the club's official website: "I've not heard those rumours and frankly I'm absolutely amazed by that. We could have rushed into an appointment, somebody to fill the slot that was put forward as somebody to keep us in the division. It's not what we did."

Strafford added: "We got a great manager and management team in here. There's no understating this, Alan and his team are some of the best regarded people in football for very good reason.

"There's never a question about him moving on just because he didn't manage to keep us in this division. If you look at his actual stats, if he'd started the season we'd be mid-table right now, that's the reality."

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