Jon’s ready for Hammers to fall

Lengthy spell: Jon Otsemobor was out for four months
Lengthy spell: Jon Otsemobor was out for four months
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JON Otsemobor relishes the visit of West Ham as a chance for him and the Owls to test themselves against a prominent Championship outfit.

“Everybody wants to play in the FA Cup,” says the defender who is glad to be back after a four-month lay-off.

“And you look forward to playing against teams such as West Ham because they’re doing well in the Championship, they’re a big club; you want to test yourself against the best players, and they have quality players in their team.

“Whoever plays for us, we’ll be looking forward to it and looking forward to pitting our wits against them.”

An attractive tie in the cup and a place in Wednesday’s promotion campaign means life is looking up for the right-back who was out in the cold because of injury, Lewis Buxton’s form and, more recently, the loan signing of James Tavernier.

“I tore my Achilles tendon at Blackburn in August,” recalls Otsemobor.

“I struggled a bit last season with my Achilles but this has been the longest spell where I’ve been sitting on the sidelines.

“It’s difficult at first but if you beat yoursefl up all the time just thinking ‘I wish I was back’ and try to do more to get back, you end up breaking down and getting into a worse situation.

“You just take it on the chin; I’ve worked hard with the physios; it’s been like doing pre-season again, getting back to fitness, and I’ve finally got back.”

Otsemobor has come in at right-back while Tavernier, who was signed mainly for that position, has been switched to good effect to the right side of midfield.

“Tav is a good player, as we’ve seen in the recent games,” he says.

“With him being a right-back, he’s defence-minded anyway, so we kind of correspond well with each other.”

Otsemobor also knows that it cannot be too long before Buxton is challenging for a place after losing it because of a hamstring injury.

“Most of the top teams in any league have competitive squads. We’ve had that all through the season. It’s no different for me or other players when we have quality players for their positions,” he said.

“We all have to train hard and, when we get the opportunity to play, play well enough to keep our shirts.”

The 2-1 win against Tranmere - in which Otsemobor played the second successive game of his comeback - began a run of four successive home games.

“At the beginning of the season we knew that if we won our home games the chances were that we were going to be there or thereabouts,” added Otsemobor.

“We have also been doing well away, but the home games have been a real plus for us; we’ve got the crowd behind us, and home advantage.

“The fans are terrific, home and away. They’re like a 12th man when they’re singing and cheering.”

Wednesday, are warning fans they face sanctions if they encroach on pitches, as the club again comes under scrutiny from the FA. The referee reported Owls supporters spilled on to the field at Walsall when Ryan Lowe scored. There was a brief hold-up. The club hope to avoid a rap from the FA, like they did after a Hillsborough invasion following the relegation decider against Crystal Palace.

History lesson

Sunday’s opponents have not been in the same division since the Owls were relegated from the Premier League in 2000, but in League Cup ties there was a 2-1 win for Wednesday at Upton Park in 2000-01 and a 4-2 home defeat in 2005-06.