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Sheffield Wednesday: Cup-tie brings old enemy Wright to Hillsborough

Friendly rivalry: ex-Owls captain Nigel Pearson and former Arsenal star Ian Wright in a light-hearted moment during David Hirsts testimonial match.

Friendly rivalry: ex-Owls captain Nigel Pearson and former Arsenal star Ian Wright in a light-hearted moment during David Hirsts testimonial match.

IAN Wright renews his FA Cup rivalry with the Owls when MK Dons visit Hillsborough tomorrow.

The former Arsenal striker became first-team coach with the League One outfit earlier this year. So the Cup-tie pits Wednesday against the man who scored against them in the 1993 FA Cup final 1-1 draw and the Gunners’ 2-1 win in the replay.

Tomorrow’s match is not short of links between today’s opposing teams.

Dons goalkeeping coach Paul Heald, who was born at Wath-upon-Dearne, had a spell on loan with the Owls in 2002 and made his debut in the League Cup semi-final second leg at Blackburn.

Heald, then a Wimbledon player, played six games for Wednesday while Kevin Pressman and Chris Stringer were injured and he then had a spell on the bench.

The Dons also have, of course, former Wednesday players Ryan Lowe, Darren Potter and Jon Otsemobor.

All three had mixed times at Hillsborough but are now part of manager Karl Robinson’s promotion-chasing League One squad.

Ostemobor became a hero of the MK fans after backheeling the winner in the 2-1 win against Wimbledon in the FA Cup second round - but he has been out since December 8 with a groin injury.

Lowe is looking for his first cup goal of the season: all his seven so far have come in the league, in which he is his club’s top scorer.

Luke Chadwick, who is now out with a long-term injury, is leading marksman overall with eight - six in the league and two in the cup - and Dean Bowditch has five in the league and two in the cup, but is a doubt.

Potter scored his third goal of the season in the 2-1 victory at Notts County on New Year’s Day - a goal made by debut-making midfielder Ryan Harley, the former Exeter star who is has been signed on loan from Brighton.

The Dons had lost two home games in succession and have been hit by injuries but, according to manager Robinson, have been given a big boost in confidence by Tuesday’s victory: “We’re pleased with a fantastic performance and result.”

* Ryan Lowe will be keen to put one over his old club. The 34-year-old former Bury striker who was allowed to leave Hillsborough last summer has scored seven goals for MK Dons: he hit four in the four games preceding a New Year’s Day 2-1 win at Notts County, when the goals came from another ex-Owl, Darren Potter, and Daniel Powell.

 

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