SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Bullen banking on a Hull of a battle

Fitness checks: Keith Treacy may rejoin the squad to face Carlisle after a bout of illness, and the Owls hope that Julian Bennett and Ryan Lowe will have recovered from minor injuries.
Fitness checks: Keith Treacy may rejoin the squad to face Carlisle after a bout of illness, and the Owls hope that Julian Bennett and Ryan Lowe will have recovered from minor injuries.

FORMER captain Lee Bullen is counting on the Owls to recreate the mood of a momentous 2005 when they take on Carlisle at Hillsborough on Saturday.

Then as now the club faced uncertainty over their promotion prospects as they headed towards the climax of the season.

But Bullen says that Paul Sturrock’s team always believed they could do it - and he feels that the current side will be similarly determined as they bid to overtake Sheffield United.

“They’ve got to give three performances of their life and hope for a bit of luck,” says the man who skippered the club to promotion.

Back then the Owls faced a big test at high-flying Hull in their penultimate match and knew that their fate might not be settled until the final game.

“You’ve got to believe,” says Bullen. “We believed we could do it at Hull. We were up for it and we won.”

Wednesday went on to win the play-off final but Bullen says: “I hope they don’t have to go into the play-offs this time, though it’s a big ask for them to overtake United. But United have to play MK Dons and Stevenage. Those are tough games.

“Wednesday have hard games as well, against Carlisle and Brentford. You need the rub of the green and hopefully they will get that.”

The 2005 side finished fifth in the table after suffering a dip in form. “For us, it was more a feeling of relief when we got into the play-offs,” added Bullen. “I don’t know how the current squad will feel if they go into them.

“They could have a bit of calmness. They have proved they are one of the best teams, so they would go into them with confidence. Does being of the best teams bring added pressure? I don’t know.

“I think Wednesday have got the squad. I genuinely believe the squad is better than the one we had.”

The Owls hope Keith Treacy (illness), Julian Bennett (hamstring) and Ryan Lowe (groin) will return to their squad after they missed the 1-1 draw at Colchester.