The ‘six pointers’ are coming thick and fast for the Owls – a vital victory against QPR on Saturday is now followed by a bargain basement encounter with bottom of the table Colchester United.
Owls fans will remember the 4-0 defeat to the U’s in October 2006 which resulted in the sacking of Paul Sturrock and a Wednesday team stuck in 21st place. It was the pivotal point of the last campaign, Sean MacAuley and then Brian Laws leading the Owls on and up the table. Laws will be hoping for similar late season success on the pitch this time around.
Graham Kavanagh told Wednesday World:
‘It’s a huge week as everybody knows, Colchester tomorrow and Coventry at the weekend. If we can get six points from these games it will go a long way to keep us in the division. [Layer Road is] a real difficult place to go and it’s been a fortress for them over the past few seasons. It’s the business end of the season whether you are top or bottom and the pressure is on. We have five or six lads who are coming back from injury and that will really benefit the team in the run-in.’
Geraint Williams told Radio Essex:
‘When you are where we are, nobody is going to help you, so we’ve got to help ourselves. The pressure we’re under is because everyone wants to do well, four defeats in a row puts anyone under pressure and we know when we look at the table we’ve got to win games. So that’s the pressure we’re all under. We’ve proved we’re capable of winning but we haven’t won enough games, we’ve drawn too many, and games like this (at Palace) – tight games – we’ve come up one goal short and that’s again something we’ve got to put right and we haven’t as yet. We’ve got another opportunity on Tuesday, so that’s why we want to go out that night positive, get three points and build on that but it’s getting late in the day now.’
Colchester Team News:
Karl Duguid’s return from injury against Palace at the weekend was a success, the skipper managing 90 minutes, as did John White. Veteran striker Teddy Sheringham is still out with an infected foot, and the match may come too early for the return of defender Pat Baldwin.
Player to watch: Kevin Lisbie
Striker Lisbie will be hoping to fire the U’s to victory, now back in the team after an ankle injury. The ex-Charlton Athletic man’s fine goals-to-games ratio for Colchester should serve as a warning to the Owls central defence.
Owls Team News:
A lacklustre showing from the Owls in the first 40 minutes against QPR will have Owls fans praying for a re-run of the second half performance, the essential injection of enthusiasm and effort provided in no small part by youngster Sean McAllister and wily old lag Deon Burton. A renewal of the up-front partnership of Burton and tireless worker Marcus Tudgay should be on the cards, and the effervescent McAllister will push for a start alongside Kavanagh. Loan man Ben Sahar has returned to Chelsea for treatment. Adam Bolder and Jermaine Johnson are out, banned.
Player to watch: Franck Songo’o
A Jekyll and Hyde performance from the Pompey loan wingman against QPR: Owls fans will demand total involvement in the game and more touches of wizardry from the Frenchman.. no doubt he has the skills to pay the bills, but can he ally that with consistency and commitment for the full 90 minutes?
Match Facts & Stats
Last time out:
Wednesday 1 Colchester 2
Hillsborough, 1st December 2007
Goals from Sheringham (early doors) and Elokobi sealed the points for the visitors, Sodje’s goal in the end a footnote to a disappointing game for the Owls.
Previous line ups:
Colchester: Gerken, Ifil, Coyne, Virgo, White, Duguid, Izzet (Elito 77), Hammond, Jackson, Platt (Vernon 87), Lisbie. Subs Not Used: Bankole, Watson, Balogh.
Sheff Wed: Grant, Hinds, Beevers, Wood, Spurr, Kavanagh, Small (O’Brien 90), Wallwork (McAllister 40), Songo’o, Tudgay, Showunmi (Burton 40). Subs Not Used: Burch, Boden.
v Coventry City (A) – 15/03/08
v Crystal Palace (H) – 22/03/08