SHEFFIELD Wednesday defender Danny Batth is pressing for a first-team recall ahead of their Easter double-header with Huddersfield Town and Oldham Athletic.
With captain Rob Jones set to serve a two-match ban after chalking up his 10th yellow card of the season in the comfortable 2-0 victory over Preston North End, Batth is in contention to partner Miguel Llera at the heart of the defence, having shaken off a hamstring problem.
Named on the bench versus the Lilywhites as Gary Madine’s brace extended Wednesday’s unbeaten run in League One to eight outings, Batth, on loan from Wolves until the end of the 2011/12 campaign, is vying with Mark Beevers to start at fourth-placed Huddersfield, kick-off 12.30pm.
Batth, who has been a model of consistency in the club’s automatic promotion tilt, had not missed a single league match before the hard-fought victory at Leyton Orient.
Now, having regained his full fitness, the 21-year-old is likely to be given the nod over Beevers as Wednesday chase a third league win on the spin. Academy graduate Beevers may have to settle for a place on the substitutes bench.
Dave Jones, the Owls boss, is unconcerned about the enforced alteration he will have to make to his back four.
He said: “We’ve got Danny Batth, Mark Beevers - a lot of quality to bring back. [Rob] Jones is my captain but I want a team of leaders.”
Courtesy of their victory over Preston, Dave Jones men moved six clear of Huddersfield, who were beaten for the first time under Simon Grayson, at Carlisle United, last weekend.
Both Wednesday and Sheffield United will be hoping the Terriers slip up in their game in hand tonight at Orient. A victory for Grayson’s troops would see them close the gap on the Owls to three points.