Wednesday boss Dave Jones believes the Championship is now tougher than ever as his Owls side prepare for Saturday’s trip to Derby.
After a two-year absence from the second tier, the Owls kick off their Championship campaign against the Rams at Pride Park.
And Jones, who has clocked up over 700 games during his managerial career of which the majority have been in the top two divisions, is fully aware of what to expect this term.
He told swfc.co.uk: “The Championship is stronger than it was last year - it gets stronger every year.
“You’ve got three sides that have come down from the Premiership and you have teams that have spent a lot of money to bring the players in.
“This is the hardest division to get out of because there is so much at stake and there are so many teams who are evenly balanced.”
The Owls’ last win at Pride Park came back in the 2005/06 campaign and Jones is eager to get off to a good start by posting a positive result this time around.
He added: “It’s an old cliché but bottom can be top in this division because everybody somewhere along the line has good quality players.
“There might be a team that has a squad full of quality players but certainly the majority of teams will have 11 players in their squad that is capable of achieving anything.
“If you hit the ground running, if you can get the results, get a little bit of luck then anything can happen. You can go and spend millions and millions and not get anywhere near it and that’s how tough it can be.”