Owls out for cup success 20 years on from League Cup glory
Irvine set to ring changes as Wednesday welcome Bury 20 years ago a relegated Sheffield Wednesday side embarked on a League Cup campaign that ultimately ended in glory with victory over Manchester United at Wembley. Tonight’s 1st Round tie at home to Bury is a far cry from those times but does at least give the Owls the opportunity to advance in a competition that they have had little success in recent years. Since reaching the Semi-finals in the 2001-02 season Wednesday have only managed to advance as far as the third round once and whilst league success is obviously the priority this season a good cup run can breed confidence and the further the team progresses the greater the chance of getting a big game that could add some much needed extra cash to the coffers. The Owls run to the semi-final in 2001/02 started with a 3-1 away win at Bury any anything less than a win against the League Two side at Hillsborough this time around would be an untimely setback. Alan Irvine is likely to make a number of changes to the side that kicked off the league campaign with a 2-0 win over Dagenham & Redbridge at the weekend with some of the players that missed out on Saturday set to be given a chance. Paul Heffernan and Neil Mellor may get the chance up front if Marcus Tudgay and Clinton Morrison are not risked while Daniel Jones, who made a brief substitute appearance at the weekend, could come into the side. Darren Potter, a regular in the side last season, also had to settle for a place on the bench in the opening game and may get the chance from the start. Liam Palmer is another option in the centre of the park and Jon Otsemobor could make his competitive debut at right-back with Richard Hinds also in consideration for a place in the back four. Irvine may also see this as an opportunity to give one of his young goalkeepers, Richard O’Donnell or Arron Jameson, some much needed experience. The amount of options that Wednesday have at their disposal even with a couple of players out injured shows the strength of the squad at this level and the competition for places can only be a good thing. Alan Knill is also considering making changes to his Bury side that were beaten 1-0 at home by Port Vale on the opening day of the season. The Shakers are again likely to be without captain Ben Futcher who has been sidelined due to an ankle injury. The threat from the visitors is expected to come from the lively attacking pairing of Andy Bishop and Ryan Lowe. Wednesday will be hoping to continue a strong a home record that they have against Bury having won 24 and drawn 8 of 38 previous meetings in Sheffield. The Owls 3-1 win at Gigg Lane in 2001 is the only competitive meeting of the two sides in the last 30 years.
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