Wednesday will start life without Alan Irvine as manager by welcoming MK Dons to Hilsborough in npower League One.
Irvine left the Owls on Thursday following a meeting with chairman Milan Mandaric, who will be keen for an immediate upturn in fortunes as he fails to give up on Wednesday’s aim of promotion this season.
Mandaric has hinted that a new man could well be in place for the weekend, but it’s unlikely, and even if named before Saturday it’s more likely that he’ll sit in the stands for the first game.
Rob Kelly, Irvine’s assistant, has stayed on to take temporary charge of first team affairs, with Billy Barr assisting him.
Owl chairman Milan Mandaric told the official SWFC website:
‘I have to emphasise now that we are not writing off this season. Promotion was the target when I bought the club and promotion is still the target now. We are also through to the fifth round of the FA Cup so if anyone thinks we are writing this season off, they could not be more wrong.’
Wednesday Team News:
Rob Kelly and Billy Barr, who are in temporary control of the first team following the sacking of Irvine, could make a whole host of changes for the visit of Karl Robinson’s men.
All six outfield players who were substitutes in the 5-3 loss at Peterborough will be putting their hands up for inclusion.
Daniel Jones, Mark Beevers, James O’Connor, Paul Heffernan, Gary Teale and Clinton Morrison will all be hoping for recalls.
New arrival Isaiah Osbourne will also be hoping for his Owls bow.
The Aston Villa midfielder joined on loan on Sunday and was Irvine’s last signing, but didn’t feature at London Road.
The defensive midfielder is expected to go straight into a starting role.
Player to watch: Isaiah Osbourne
No doubt Wednesdayites will be keeping an eye on all eleven players to see how they perform following the departure of Alan Irvine, but Osbourne provides a fresh face following his loan move from Aston Villa.
MK Dons Team News:
MK Dons will arrive at Hillsborough on the back of a 2-1 win at Bristol Rovers in midweek and sitting on the edge of the play-off places as a result.
Karl Robinson’s men were also thumped 4-1 on home soil by the Owls earlier in the campaign and will be keen to dish out some revenge in S6.
The Dons have struggled with away form this season but are unbeaten in their last four outings on their travels since the turn of the year, making them a strong opposition for the Owls.
Player to watch: Peter Leven
Leven is MK Dons’ top scorer, with six goals so far this season, and top with assists, also with six, and will be key in any positive outcome for Karl Robinson’s men at Hillsborough. One to watch for the Wednesday defence.
Match Facts & Stats
MK Dons: W-D-W-L-W
Wednesday wins: 13
K Dons wins: 16
Last Time Out:
MK Dons 1-4 Wednesday
Wednesday thumped the Dons in their own back yard last November in the reverse fixture. Things started badly when Mark Carrington opened the scoring for the hosts. But Wednesday’s reply was emphatic as Neil Mellor notched a hat-trick and a Luke Chadwick own goal completed the rout.
v Rochdale (A) – 12/02/11
v Tranmere Rovers (A) – 15/02/11