Wednesday turn their attentions to a different knockout competition following their weekend FA Cup victory when they welcome Hartlepool United in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area quarter-final.
The JP Trophy may not be the highest on the priority list for Owls boss Alan Irvine – promotion is the main aim with a prolonged run in the FA Cup important.
But with the Owls just three ties away from a date at Wembley for the final, Irvine may well be taking the competition slightly more seriously now than he was at the first round stage.
Owls captain Darren Purse told the official SWFC website:
‘I’ve spoken about cup competitions already this season and, although the league is our priority and promotion back to the Championship, we know how important a good cup run for the club and players can be.
‘The lads know that we are only a few games away from Wembley in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and every player would like to say they have played there when they finish their career.’
Wednesday Team News:
Wednesday will have no fresh injury or suspension concerns for the clash, although boss Alan Irvine may be tempted to make changes following the FA Cup win at Southport and ahead of a big league clash at the weekend.
Jermaine Johnson is the only player who is definitely missing the match after the Jamaican pulled up with a slight hamstring strain in the 2-0 defeat against Huddersfield Town last week.
Clinton Morrison will be keen to continue his partnership with Neil Mellor in attack following their impressive showings at Southport, while Mellor will be keen to repeat his man-of-the-match performance which helped Wednesday to a thumping 5-0 win at Victoria Park earlier this season.
Player to watch: Clinton Morrison
It may have only been against Blue Square Premier side Southport, but Morrison’s brace at the weekend will have given him a big confidence boost, and he’ll be hoping for more goals tonight should he get the nod to start.
Hartlepool United Team News:
Hartlepool will come to S6 not only looking to progress to the next round of the competition, but to also avenge a 5-0 loss against Wednesday at Victoria Park earlier this season.
Former Owl Ritchie Humphreys is set to miss out on a return to Hillsborough through suspension for the first time in his career.
Humphreys, who came through the Owls youth ranks, was sent off in Hartlepool’s FA Cup clash with Vauxhall Motors at the weekend, and although ‘Pool have appealed the ban, Humphreys is likely to miss out.
Colin Larkin also looks likely to miss out for United after suffering a back injury at the weekend while Denis Behan misses out through a shoulder injury.
Adam Boyd and James Brown also miss out with a back injury and ankle injury respectively.
Player to watch: Antony Sweeney
Sweeney is Hartlepool’s top scorer so far this season and tonight’s visitors will be looking to his goals to help guide them through to the next round.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 6
Hartlepool wins: 1
Last Time Out:
Hartlepool 0-5 Wednesday
Victoria Park, 28/08/10
Wednesday put in a five-star performance to thrash Hartlepool the last time the two sides met in npower League One earlier this season. A Paul Murray own goal kicked things off in Wednesday’s favour before Giles Coke, Neil Mellor, Marcus Tudgay and Clinton Morrison found the back of the net in the rout.
v Rochdale (H) – 13/11/10