SHEFFIELD Wednesday’s ability to improve their away form will be put to a severe test on Saturday at Hartlepool.
Unbeaten Pools believe that the visit of the Owls is no reason for them to fear that a dent will be put in their terrific record.
Wednesday, on the other hand, have seen their confidence boosted by a first away win of the season, at Yeovil, followed by last Saturday’s home victory against Exeter.
The Owls, who have a 100 per cent home record, know that they simply must pick up a healthy quota of points on the road this season if they are to sustain their promotion challenge.
But while their start to the campaign has been steady, overall, and has had its ups and downs, Pools’ has been almost spectacular.
Mick Wadsworth’s men have set a club record by going unbeaten through the first nine league games.
They drew the first four and have won the last five, including a 2-1 triumph at Bournemouth last Saturday when Nobby Solano, with a 25-yard free-kick, and Evan Horwood, with a sweet late strike, scored impressive goals.
Pools are third in the table, ahead of Wednesday on goal difference.
Wadsworth says: “There’s a tenacity and a nastiness about the players now.
“The lads were ripping into each other at half-time on Saturday, which I like. If someone’s not doing the business then they get told by their peers.
“It’s about confidence in each other and they’ve got that. Now we keep it going, the challenge every week is to get better and there are certainly a lot of things, especially from the first-half on Saturday, which we can do better.
“At Carlisle, I went 20-21 games without losing, so it can be done and we’ve put ourselves in a fantastic position to do that.”
Lomana Lua-Lua, who had talks with Wednesday last month, trained with Pools for a day last week.
The Owls, having since then signed Ryan Lowe and David McGoldrick, let Clinton Morrison go on loan to MK Dons.
Morrison played as a 58th-minute sub in Dons’ 0-0 draw at Bury and has expressed a desire to extend his stay with them, whether it is on an extended loan or subsequently a full transfer.
Mark Beevers is on loan with Dons from the Owls but was a unused sub on Saturday. Former Hillsborough midfielder Darren Potter is a regular in their team.
MK Dons drew 1-1 at home with Charlton last night making it five games without a win which was begun by their 3-1 defeat at Hillsborough.