There’s no getting away from it so you might as well bring it on. Manchester City 7 Sheffield Wednesday 0 was the inevitable soundtrack to the draw for the third round of the FA Cup.
It was laughed off at the time, of course. City paid due respect by fielding a celestial side for that Capital One Cup tie in September, Wednesday had a man sent off and, as the goals rained in, a huge away following was forced to sit back in admiration of the Premier League champions.
But what those fans will also remember is that - incredibly as it now seems - the score was 0-0 at half-time.
Wednesday, in fact, more than held their own in that opening period. Head coach Stuart Gray certainly hasn’t forgotten that, either, and it’s something on which to pin a degree of hope if not expectation. Gray knows how that shut-out was achieved and therefore has a fair idea how to reproduce it.
The key will obviously be for how long Wednesday can keep it goalless. Some claim that result knocked some of the early-season stuffing out of the Owls considering the dip that followed.
I don’t buy that as there was no disgrace considering the huge gulf in class. Better to focus on the belief that, in psychological terms, Wednesday can do themselves a huge amount of good by running City closer this time.