SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Owls eyes on international duo

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DAVE Jones, the Sheffield Wednesday manager, will be keeping his fingers crossed Rhys McCabe and Nejc Pecnik return from international duty unscathed.

Midfield duo McCabe and Pecnik are set to be in action for Scotland and Slovenia respectively over the next couple of days.

McCabe has been drafted into the Scotland Under-21 squad set-up ahead of their European Championship qualifiers against Luxembourg and Austria after a groin strain forced Stoke’s Jamie Ness to withdraw. The Scots entertain Luxembourg tonight at St Mirren and travel to Austria in Altech on Monday.

Pecnik, who has started just one of the Owls opening four league matches, has been called up to the senior Slovenia side, who host Switzerland tomorrow before locking horns with Norway next Tuesday in World Cup qualifiers.

Of the two players, McCabe has stood out, producing a series of impressive performances since penning a three-year contract at Hillsborough.

Wednesday beat off competition from several clubs, including Everton, Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City to secure the talented central midfielder’s signature.

After capturing McCabe from fallen Scottish giants Rangers, Jones said: “Rhys has got a bit of everything. He can get forward, is a good passer of the ball and can score goals

“If he develops with what potential we think he has then we will have picked up a gem of a player.”

With Chris Lines, one of the club’s top performers in last season’s promotion winning side, still on the sidelines with a groin problem, McCabe has established himself as an indispensable member of the Owls starting line-up.

He has partnered captain Jose Semedo in the middle of the park in all of Wednesday’s league matches but has not been selected in either of the club’s Capital One Cup fixtures.