OWLS defender Lewis Buxton is thrusting any thoughts of the Sheffield derby into the background and insisting that games such as today’s at Exeter are just as significant in the push for promotion.
A small crowd at St James Park and opposition who are two points above the relegation zone will be a world away from a sell-out crowd for the Hillsborough visit of United on February 26.
But Buxton said: “It’s important we win these games. Charlton nicked a 1-0 win there recently. It’s not going to be easy but if you want to get promoted you have to win these sort of games, and hopefully we’ll do that.”
He could return at right back after being on the bench not only for the Cup-tie against Blackpool, when Gary Megson rested several regulars, but also for last Saturday’s 2-1 win against Yeovil. Jon Otsemobor could make way.
Assessing the promotion scrap, Buxton said: “There seems to be a breakaway group. Charlton are out on their own at the moment; you have to give them credit. There’s us, Huddersfield, MK Dons and Sheffield United.
“You could say that any stage of the season is important. If we put a run together now, there will be a noticeable difference because we have to play Sheffield United, but we have to focus on Exeter first; they’re a difficult team to beat at their place.
“We have to concentrate on this game and worry about the rest of the season when it comes.” Buxton was injured and did not make the trip to Exeter when the Owls lost 5-1 there 14 months ago. Whoever travelled down there last season will want to put that right;,” he said. “You have to say we definitely owe them one. But we beat them 3-0 this season. It will be a difficult game down there but we’re going to do it, I think.
“Hopefully we’re not going to end up in the play-offs and we can get promoted automatically.