Players have wit to woo Owls boss

PUBLISHED: 14:19 06 December 2006 | UPDATED: 09:53 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

The Canaries' unbeaten home record under Peter Grant is set to come under threat from one of the form teams in the Coca-Cola Championship. Sheffield Wednesday's revival since Paul Sturrock was axed as manager has taken them one place above City in the table as the two sides prepare for Saturday's meeting at Carrow Road.

The Canaries' unbeaten home record under Peter Grant is set to come under threat from one of the form teams in the Coca-Cola Championship.

Sheffield Wednesday's revival since Paul Sturrock was axed as manager has taken them one place above City in the table as the two sides prepare for Saturday's meeting at Carrow Road.

The Owls have recorded six wins and two draws in nine games since Sturrock's departure.

New boss Brian Laws has been in charge for the last five matches, which have yielded 10 points, and it seems players and fans alike are now eager not to miss out on the action.

Wednesday have sold their allocation of nearly 1,400 tickets for the trip to Norwich, and Laws reckons there is now a “fear factor” spreading through his squad - the fear of losing one's place.

Former Nottingham Forest full-back Laws, who quit as Scunthorpe boss to take the Hillsborough job, believes that while he has a winning team, players are scared to drop out injured or suspended.

“I think there is a fear factor while the team is doing well. Players do not want to miss out,” he said.

“They can see it's difficult to get back into the side, which is great for me because it means there is an edge. Players work harder, there is more competition.”

The Owls won 4-1 at Leicester on Saturday and Laws described second-half goals by Chris Brunt, Glenn Whelan and Marcus Tudgay as “three of the best goals I've seen in my life”.

Laws was waiting for today's reserve game against Walsall at Tamworth before assessing his squad to face City, but he will have midfielder Kenny Lunt available after he served a one-match ban.

Defender John Hills was sidelined on Saturday by a hamstring injury and has only a slender chance of being involved.

“We are monitoring him on a daily basis,” said Laws.

Midfielder Wade Small has completed a three-match suspension after he was shown the red card in the 3-1 defeat at Coventry.

But, during his time out, Small had a minor knee operation and Laws has ruled him out of the Norwich trip.

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