Writer: Auckland Owl
Date:Thursday April 23 2009
It's a disappointing end to the season for both teams, but the pressure is off, the Hawaiian shirts are on and it's time to party. Both sides have been hamstrung by their away form, Wednesday winning only five all season, and City losing their last five on the road. However, there's plenty to play for in terms of personal pride and achievement, and Vital SWFC is hoping goals will be the order of the day at Ashton Gate.
City left back Jamie McAllister: "It will be a great atmosphere if we win, but I don't think the boys will be too happy walking round (on their traditional end of season lap of honour) if we get beaten. We will approach it the same as we do every week. It is the last home game of the season and we want to finish on a high and thank the supporters for their support. We are all winners in the dressing room, we want to put on a good performance and finish as high up the table as possible."
Owls boss Brian Laws: "I want all of our supporters to enjoy the last away game of the season. It's great for the supporters, they've not gone through the emotions they went through last season and can now enjoy these final few games. I'm really pleased for the fans, they deserve the right to enjoy the final few games of the season and have a carnival atmosphere or whatever they like."
It looks like Gary Johnson will have just 17 fit players to choose from following a raft of injuries.. Louis Carey out for the season (ribs), Ribeiro, Wilson and Plummer all sidelined, whilst Bradley Orr concludes a two match ban. The bench could be a proverbial creche. Veteran midfielder Scott Murray will feature at some stage, pursuing a personal milestone of 100 career goals.
Not so much one to watch as one to maybe give a sporting round of applause. This week, Izzy said this: 'They (Sheffield United) have been playing some ugly football but they have been getting results. They are horrible to watch. I saw them play against Reading on Sky the other week and their football was horrible...'. Thank you, Izzy, you're a gent. Let our strikers bag a couple at the weekend and you'll be an Owls legend in the making.
Luke Varney is back at Derby so Laws reshuffles the pack at the sharp end of the pitch, with Leon Clarke the likely beneficiary. Francis Jeffers came off worst in an accidental clash with Varney at St. Marys last week: he will be available but may have to settle for a place on the bench if Laws chooses to go with EE and JJ wide, plus Owls player of the season Marcus Tudgay and Big Leon up front.
Now he's got a new contract, will he stroll about confident in the knowledge he's going to be raking in the shekels for another year, or will he show Brian Laws his gratitude and make it a ten goal season in rampaging style? Come on Leon, show us what you're made of.
Head To Head:
City wins - 9
Wednesday wins - 8
Draws - 5
City - DLDLDL
Wednesday - DDWLLW
Last Time Out:
Bristol City 2 Wednesday 1
Ashton Gate - 09 Feb 2008
Lee Bullen scored a last minute consolation as the Owls went down to goals from alleged Wednesday target Dele Adebola and Bradley Orr.
Wednesday: Grant, Buxton, Hinds, Wood, Spurr, Varney, McAllister, Potter, Esajas (O'Connor 90), Tudgay, Jeffers (Johnson 46).
Subs Not Used: Simek, Beevers, Boden.
City: Basso, McAllister (Sproule 73), Fontaine, McCombe (Williams 46), Iriekpen, McIndoe, Skuse, Elliott, Johnson, Maynard, Adebola.
Subs Not Used: Henderson, Styvar, Trundle.
v Cardiff City (H) - 03/05/09
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Date:Thursday April 23 2009
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