Improvement is a must for Owls boss Brian Laws as he looks to shoot Wednesday out of trouble at the bottom of the Championship – and maybe even save his job for another week at least.
Laws failed to show for the post match press conference in the midweek to defeat to his former club Scunthorpe United – sending assistant boss Russ Wilcox instead – and it’s thought talks between Laws and the board took place following the disappointing defeat.
And Wednesday will face another tough test in another side in good form following promotion from League One last season, and a side who enjoyed good form over Wednesday during the Owls’ stint in League One not long back.
Brian Laws told the Yorkshire Post:
‘I think it would be remiss of the football club to do anything so stupid as say my job is safe. One of the things you want is support, the board are saying they are giving me that, so that’s fine.
‘It’s difficult from the board’s point of view because we are losing games. It’s been an awful start to the season, there’s been six or seven managers gone for less, so from that point of view I can’t look that far ahead. I have to look at the short-term, the immediate, and the short-term is to win games.’
Simon Grayson told the official Blackpool website:
‘It’s difficult and it’s the industry we’re in, results can determine how long you stay in a job,’ said Grayson.
‘It’s a big club Sheffield Wednesday with a lot of history and tradition and there’s a lot of expectancy about them but ultimately on Saturday we’ll be going there trying to make sure that we get three points.
‘We don’t want to be where we are now for too long, we need to get back in the top-half and whoever we’re playing we want to try and win and that’s what we’ll be looking to do.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday have been boosted ahead of the clash with Simon Grayson’s men with the news that Frank Simek and Steve Watson should both be available for the match after recovering from injury.
The duo have been missing for a number of matches, with Simek likely to come back in at right-back, while Watson could well return to the heart of the Owls defence following injury to Richard Wood in midweek.
Deon Burton should also be fit and available for selection after he was taken off with concussion in the Scunthorpe match, but Akpo Sodje could well push for a rare start.
And Owls boss Laws has also revealed that Burton O’Brien is also likely to keep his place on the left hand side of midfield following good form, keeping Etienne Esajas on the bench.
Player to watch: Steve Watson
Watson was in top form before he picked up his injury in the victory at Norwich, and will add some much needed bite and experience to the Owls side.
Blackpool Team News:
Blackpool striker Andy Morrell could return to the fold for the trip to Hillsborough after missing the Tangerins’ last two games with a back injury.
But fellow hitman Ben Burgess could miss out again through an ankle injury, while skipper Michael Jackson is battling to shake off a stomach strain and will face a late fitness test.
Player to watch: Wes Hoolahan
The Irishman has been a big hit at Blackpool following his move and has also attracted the interest of a number of teams, including the Owls over the summer.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 35
Blackpool wins: 23
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 3-2 Blackpool
12/03/05 – Hillsborough
Two late goals from Drew Talbot say Wednesday continue theur quest for promotion with victory in a five-goal thriller in 2005. Craig Rocastle had opened the scoring for Wednesday before a late rally from the visitors made Wednesday sweat for all three points.
Wednesday: Grant, Hinds, Wood (Bullen 35), Michael Johnson, Spurr, Whelan, O’Brien (Esajas 76), Jermaine Johnson, Kavanagh, Tudgay, Burton (Sodje 46). Subs Not Used: Burch, Lunt.
Blackpool: Rachubka, Barker, Michael Jackson (Matt Jackson 46), Gorkss, Coid (Taylor-Fletcher 77), Southern, Fox (Flynn 82), Crainey, Hoolahan, Parker, Vernon. Subs Not Used: Jorgensen, Welsh.
03/11/07 – Plymouth (A)
06/11/07 – West Brom (A)