MICK Wadsworth insists tomorrow’s visit of boyhood club Sheffield Wednesday is not simply a case of “any other game” and says Hartlepool United can use that to spur them to victory.
The Pools boss has repeatedly urged his players to dispense with deference towards opposition teams this season and that’s a ploy which has certainly worked.
But Wadsworth believes the weekend clash with the Owls, for which a near-sell-out crowd is expected, is a different matter.
Instead, he will call on his unbeaten men to rise to the challenge of pitting their wits against such illustrious guests.
That, though, is not to say Wadsworth is in awe of the current crop of Wednesday players.
Rather, the first-team coach is adamant that victory, a sixth on the spin, is very much achievable and would reinforce Pools’ credentials as promotion challengers.
“It’s a fantastic weekend to look forward to,” he told SportMail.
“For a big, big club like Sheffield Wednesday to be coming to us and for us to be matching them stride for stride at the moment, is a terrific test for us.
“It’s hard to think of Sheffield Wednesday as just another League One team.
“That’s because they are such a big club – by far the biggest in our division.
“It’s a big football city and big club with a proud tradition so it’s difficult to say we’ll treat them the same as we’d treat Bury – and that’s no disrespect to Bury.
“But it has a great ring for Hartlepool United to be playing Sheffield Wednesday at Victoria Park.
“So I think this is different and isn’t just any other game, but that’s not a feeling of fear or over- complimenting them. I just think it’s a very exciting day.
“It’s a great opportunity to say to people ‘we’re going to stick around here’.
“We’re desperate to stay up there and a win tomorrow would go a long way to helping us in that venture.”
FULL story in Friday’s Mail ...