Wednesday may have lost pace with the top-two last week but their quest is simple – three wins from three to stand a chance of gaining automatic promotion this season.
It starts with the visit of a Carlisle United side who’re pushing for vital points of their own to get into the League One play-offs – making victory for the Owls on Saturday anything but a stroll in the park.
Dave Jones has yet to lose as Owls boss and, whether his men reach the top two or have to settle for a play-off spot, he’ll be looking to continue that winning momentum until the end of the season.
Owls goalkeeper Stephen Bywater told the official SWFC website:
‘I’m not thinking about the play-offs yet, I’m just thinking that we need to win our last three games.
‘Hopefully other teams might slip up, but our focus is that we can still possibly get second spot and we know anything can happen.
‘I’m not a quitter in life and I know the lads I work with aren’t quitters, so we’re all still striving to get that number two slot.’
‘Now is a time to keep knuckling down and go for three wins out of three because we know that’s what’s needed.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday will still have problems at the left-back area for the visit of United, with both Reda Johnson and Julian Bennett sidelined with thigh and hamstring injuries respectively. It means Mark Beevers is likely to continue at left-back in their absence.
Wednesday are, however, boosted by the return of a trio of players from injury.
Striker Ryan Lowe will be pushing for a starting role after recovering from a groin injury, while on-loan winger Keith Treacy will be available after missing last weekend’s draw at Colchester through illness and Daniel Jones is also fit and available to feature after suffering a frustrating season through injury.
Player to watch: Gary Madine
The Owls’ top scorer will be crucial in every game between now and the end of the season, but he’ll be eager to get one over his former club and bag the goals to send them back to Cumbria without any points.
Carlisle United Team News:
Carlisle’s play-off hopes have been hit with the news that top-scorer Lee Miller will miss the rest of the season through injury. The striker has hit 15 goals this season but will be sidelined with a groin injury until next term.
Chris Chantler will also be absent for the Cumbrians through a hamstring injury.
Carlisle are without a win in their last four matches, drawing two and losing two, and will be eager to get back to winning ways at S6 to aid their top-six challenge.
Player to watch: JP McGovern
Carlisle are likely to come to Hillsborough with two former Owls in their starting line-up. Jon Paul-McGovern and Frank Simek have been regulars recently and Owls fans have fond memories of both, but it’ll be McGovern who’s likely to pose the biggest threat.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 9
Carlisle wins: 8
Last Time Out:
Carlisle 3-2 Wednesday
Brunton Park, 25/10/11
The Owls had a day to forget in the reverse fixture at Brunton Park this season. Lee Miller, Rory Loy and Liam Noble gave the Cumbrians victory. Ben Marshall and Rob Jones did pull goals back but it was too little too late, while former United man Gary Madine was sent-off.
v Brentford (A) – 28/4/12
v Wycombe Wanderers (H) – 5/5/12