Sheffield Wednesday: Owls face Sharp comeback threat

Billy Sharp celebrates after scoring a goal for Southampton
Billy Sharp celebrates after scoring a goal for Southampton

Wednesday came a cropper the last time they faced a striker whom Dave Jones had tried to sign.

So the news that Billy Sharp is likely to be fit for Saturday’s match against Reading on Saturday will send a ripple of unease through Owls supporters.

Federico Macheda notched the winner for Doncaster at Hillsborough last month after Jones missed out on the Manchester United loan striker. The Wednesday boss had also had Sharp in his sights before the ex-Sheffield United and Doncaster star joined Reading on loan from Southampton in September.

Sharp, no stranger to Hillsborough, made his debut for the Royals in a five-minute appearance as a sub in a 1-1 draw at Barnsley a month ago but then picked up a groin injury.

He has not played since then but has been back in training for a week and could well play some part in Nigel Adkins’ plans this weekend, perhaps coming on from the bench.

Draw specialists Wednesday face a side who have just had a 1-1 stalemate of their own, at home to Millwall.

Like Wednesday have done in some games, the Royals led but were hit by a late goal: Millwall were also down to 10 men when they equalised in stoppage time.

The Owls could be on the way to setting a record of some kind unless they can hit winning form.

They have already drawn seven league matches 1-1 - a total that would be more normal for an entire season.

It already beats the 1-1 tally for each of the last four completed campaigns.

However the current run of four consecutive draws is not all that unusual.

For example in 2007-08 the team drew seven matches in a row (13 in all for the season but only six were 1-1).

Reading, like Wednesday, are targeting an improvement on their previous performance.

It sounded like an Owls players talking after the draws with Leeds, Millwall and Brighton when Royals club captain Jobi McAnuff said: ““We’ve got to make sure if we do get into positions like we did on Saturday, we have to see the game out.

“So the fact that we were 1-0 up, it feels like it was two points dropped. Having gone a goal up, we should have made sure we got the three points. But I’m sure Millwall feel that they were decent value for the point. We’re not going to let it gets us down.”

He added: “We’ve had a decent start and we have to make sure that continues at Sheffield Wednesday.”

Wednesday Under 21s pulled off a 2-1 away win against Huddersfield at Bury’s Gigg Lane ground in the League Cup.

Manny Dieseruvwe got both goals and said on Twitter: “Great performance from the lads to battle and get a 2-1 win, delighted to grab both goals as well.”

Keeper Cameron Dawson tweeted: “Great win.. absolute bodies on the line at times.”

Coach Lee Bullen said: “The harder you work the luckier you become. Delighted with the work ethic/performance.”