Ex-Owl Nigel Worthington brings his Norwich City side to Hillsborough this weekend in a bid to dent the Owls’ survival hopes as the season draws to a close. Despite Norwich’s season being over, Worthington is under severe pressure from the City fans to resign, so a victory tomorrow will do his chance of staying on as City boss no harm.
Paul Sturrock told the SWFC official site:
‘I don’t think you could go into a game after a defeat and the type of performance against Crewe without heads rolling. I think there’s a freshness needed in the team, so there will definitely be a couple of changes.’
‘We’ve only lost one of our last five. If we put three points on the board and a couple of results don’t go the right way for the other teams, and all of a sudden you’re kicking and scratching at one team. In the end, Brighton will take care of itself. We’ve got Norwich first.’
‘If we get in their faces and show the attitude and willingness to run, as we did in the three or four games before Saturday, then I think we will win. It’s important that the players appreciate that.’
Wednesday Team News:
Owls boss Paul Sturrock has no fresh injury worries ahead of the Easter clash with Nigel Worthington’s Norwich City side.
On-loan Manchester City defender Mikkel Bischoff will still be missing from the squad after suffering an injury in the 0-0 draw with Burnley. The Danish defender is not likely to return in time for the Easter Monday clash with Brighton either, but it’s hoped he will be firt for the final two games of the season against Reading and Derby County respectfully.
On-loan Liverpool stopper Scott Carson will continue in goal for the Owls after agreeing to extend his loan contract until the end of the season last week. Carson has been in fine form recently with the Owls losing just once since his arrival.
Sturrock described today as ‘D-day’ for defenders Drissa Diallo and Richard Wood. The pair will undergo late fitness tests today, but it’s unlikely either will be given a place in the starting eleven. Lee Bullen or Patrick Collins are likely to deputise for Bischoff, the former the likeliest to deal with the pace of Earnshaw and Huckerby in attack.
Midfielder Steve Adams may also be in contention of a place in the squad after making steady progress from an injury picked up earlier this year. Adams will also undergo a late fitness test today.
Winger Jon-Paul McGovern may continue on the right hand side of midfield after making his long-awaited comeback in last week’s defeat at Crewe. McGovern didn’t look back to full fitness but could provide the spark that’s needed to lift the Owls away from the drop zone.
Player to watch: Deon Burton
Despite a dissapointing performance from the former Derby man last weekend at Crewe (let’s face it – who didn’t have a bad game?), Burton will still provide the biggest threat for the Owls alongside his strike partner Macrus Tudgay. The pair have formed a great partnership in attack and their goals have been vital for the Owls in recent weeks.
Norwich Team News:
With nothing left to play for, Norwich boss Nigel Worthington has hinted that he could hand starts to at least one academy player at Hillsborough on Saturday. Worthington wants to experiment for next season after a dissapointing campaign this term.
Leon McKenzie is struggling with a back injury and is unlikely to feature for the Canaries. McKenzie only last 10 minutes in last weekend’s defeat at Preston North End and is unlikely to be risked.
But Paul McVeigh could return from a similar back injury which he picked up at Sheffield United. McVeigh picked up training with the rest of the team yesterday and will undergo a late fitness test, but is again unlikely to be risked.
Defender Zesh Rehman is a doubt after picking up a neck injury in the reserves match with Ipwich Town in midweek. Youssef Safri, Matty Louis-Jean and Darren Ward are all out until the end of the season.
Player to watch: Darren Huckerby
Although the former Manchester City and Leeds striker hasn’t had the best of seasons for the Canaries he still poses a major threat to the depleted Owls defence with his pace. Patrick Collins will be man most likely to mark Huckerby, and if he keeps him out of the game it may keep the whole Norwich side out.
Match Facts & Stats
Total Matches: 42
SWFC Wins: 15
Norwich Wins: 14
29th October 2005
Norwich City 0-1 Wednesday
The Owls picked up their first away victory of the season thanks to a neat stike from winger Chris Brunt late in the day. Sub Richie Partridge had a long-range effort parried by Robert Green in the City goal, only for Brunt to pop up and slot the rebound home to the delight of the travelling Wednesday Barmy Army.
Played For Both:
WEDNESDAY: Carson, Simek, Coughlan, Collins, Hills, McGovern (Bullen 54), Folly, Whelan (Brunt 54), O’Brien (Best 76), Burton, Tudgay. Subs Not Used: Adamson, MacLean.
NORWICH: Green, Fleming, Doherty, Shackell, Drury, Hughes, Etuhu, Robinson (Henderson 78), Huckerby, Earnshaw, McKenzie (Johansson 12). Subs Not Used: Charlton, Gallacher, Colin.
Vs Brighton & Hove Albion (A) – 17/04/06
Vs Reading (H) – 22/04/06
Vs Derby County (A)