SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Isaiah Osbourne has point to prove as he gets set for comeback

Megson reject: Isaiah Osbourne was sent back early to Aston Villa after his Owls loan stay
Megson reject: Isaiah Osbourne was sent back early to Aston Villa after his Owls loan stay

ISAIAH Osbourne could face the Owls tonight for the first time since his loan stay was cut short.

The Blackpool midfield player was signed on loan by Alan Irvine from Aston Villa for the second half of the 2010-11 season just before the then Wednesday manager was axed.

Gary Megson handed him a debut and 10 starts but after a 3-1 defeat at Brentford he was sent back early to Villa, in April, 2011.

It could be an extra source of motivation for the 24-year-old as he returns with a Blackpool side who have won only one of their last eight games and have just lost manager Ian Holloway to Crystal Palace.

Osbourne missed Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Derby owing to injury but could return tonight.

He joined the Seasiders in the summer from Hibernian, where he went after being released by Villa.

Blackpool will be without former Chesterfield centre half Ian Evatt: he is suspended for one match after picking up his fifth booking of the season.

Kirk Broadfoot, who was a team-mate of Rhys McCabe at Rangers, could lose the right-back spot to Neil Eardley.

The Seasiders usually play 4-4-3, with Gary Taylor-Fletcher the central striker, supported by England Under 21 man Tom Ince and ex-Sheffield United loan forward Matt Phillips from the flanks.

Kevin Phillips, now 39, is out with a calf injury and has made only five starts this season and scored one goal. Blackpool have evidently missed the sort of input that he provided last season when he scored 17 goals. He hit an injury-time equaliser in the 1-1 draw with the Owls at Bloomfield Road in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Blackpool won the replay 3-0 with goals from Lomana LuaLua, Ludovic Sylvestre and Matt Phillips.

Wednesday had beaten the Seasiders 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after a 0-0 Hillsborough draw in the first round of last season’s League Cup.

LuaLua rejected the offer of a new contract offer in the summer and joined a Turkish club.

Blackpool were hit by Holloway’s resignation a few hours before last Saturday’s game at Derby and are said to have looked out of sorts.

The team had been selected by Holloway but caretaker boss Steve Thompson took charge, and he prepared the players yesterday in the build-up to the Hillsborough match - as chairman Karl Oyston was moving swiftly towards appointing a successor to Holloway.

Thompson also spoke of “hard words and home truths” said to the Blackpool players in the dressing room after the performance at Pride Park. They are without a win in five games. “I told the lads that we’ve got to move on, we need big characters now, so we can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” he said.