Wednesday make a long-awaited return to League 1 action on Monday when they visit promotion rivals Huddersfield Town in front of the Sky TV cameras.
The Owls have been without a match since before Christmas and will be eager to kick-off 2011 with a vital victory against the Terriers.
Huddersfield too will be keen to continue their promotion aspirations with three points in front of a bumper crowd at the Galpharm Stadium.
He said: ‘It’s been an unusual period but there was nothing we could do about it. We trained as normal and we had an eleven-a-side game at Hillsborough. I told the players they had to treat it as though it was a normal game.
‘We have a massive game coming up now against Huddersfield and the players just want to be out there playing football.
‘I watched Huddersfield play Hartlepool on Boxing Day and on another day, they would have won the game. Then they lost heavily at Southampton, but that’s this division, anyone is beating anyone.’
Huddersfield Town Team News:
Town worked hard for a point at Carlisle on Saturday so could well make some changes for their second game in three days.
Town defender and Wednesday fan Jamie McCombe could miss the clash with a flu bug, as could Joe Garner and Lee Croft.
Antony Kay will return though following a one-match suspension.
Player to watch: Kevin Kilbane
Town made Kilbane their first addition in January and he’s set to be included in Monday’s squad, ready to help Town to what they hope will be their first win of 2011.
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday will be without Lewis Buxton and Giles Coke for the trip to West Yorkshire
But the Owls will have no other fresh injury or suspension concerns and will have a couple of match-free weeks to give themselves the best chance possible to return to S6 with maximum points.
Owls players could also be playing for their first team futures at S6 with Irvine set to splash the cash in January.
Neil Mellor is expected to return to the starting line-up.
Player to watch: Clinton Morrison
Morrison has been working his socks off recently for the Owls but has failed to get the goal return his form deserves. His form could be crucial in the Owls getting the three points.