Sheffield Wednesday: Derby could be just the ticket

Atdhe Nuhiu and Macclesfield captain Paul Turnbull compete in the 1-1 draw at Moss Rose

Atdhe Nuhiu and Macclesfield captain Paul Turnbull compete in the 1-1 draw at Moss Rose

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Macclesfield’s mistaken complaint about ticket prices for the FA Cup replay was the sort of own goal that the Owls could do with on the field on Tuesday, writes Paul Thompson.

Whatever happens then, Wednesday were wise in wanting admission to cost only £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.

How many people would turn up for a match against a little club in the early rounds of a cup competition if full prices were charged? Not many, I guess.

That is why Wednesday have long had a policy of reducing prices for matches such as this.

I reckon the attendance next Tuesday will do well to reach 10,000.

Gates in recent years for early-round Cup games against MK Dons, Aldershot and Northampton have been 11,462, 10,162 and 8,932.

It is a pity that Macclesfield associate director Andy Scott criticised the prices for next week’s game and claimed that they had been fixed without the required consultation - a story that achieved national coverage.

But it wasn’t true, said the Owls: the prices were agreed by both clubs on December 11. Macclesfield this week issued an apology and Wednesday accepted.

The affair will not, I am sure, strain relationships between the clubs when they meet again.

The Owls could do with a controversy-free evening and a smooth passage into the fourth round, where they would face a tricky one at Rochdale, conquerors of Leeds

Maybe the absence of Dave Jones will eliminate some of the previously seen crowd acrimony from tomorrow’s game, maybe not.

Let us hope that the football takes centre stage, as it did at Elland Road in August when Wednesday were full value for a point.

I detect no lessening of Milan Mandaric’s confidence in Stuart Gray. Soon or later a proper managerial appointment will have to be made, which would put an end to uncertainty, very likely though it seems that the job will be Gray’s.

What better way to underline his credentials, after a healthy haul of 11 points from seven games, than with a Yorkshire derby win live on TV?