The table sometimes lies ... admiring Turner puts Everton on Owls cup alert

FORMER Owls loan star Iain Turner is warning his Everton teammates to be on their guard against the Owls at Hillsborough tonight.

Tuesday, 25th September 2007, 9:21 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th September 2007, 10:05 am

Turner saw for himself last season the calibre of football that Wednesday are capable of producing.

And he believes that Everton should not make the mistake of thinking that the Owls are pushovers because they are bottom of the Championship.

"It's a great club, a big club, and they have got some quality players in their team," said the keeper, a former colleague of Steve Watson at Goodison Park.

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"They haven't started the season too well ... it just takes time.

"They have got a good front line and some good midfielders, especially Steve Watson! Watto will be looking forward to the game.

"Brian Laws is a nice guy who loves his team to play football, which is what every manager should be aiming for.

"There were a few mixed emotions when the draw was made and obviously I am dying to play in it."

Turner was a Wednesday hero for the way he played a major part in the Owls' surge to the fringe of the play-offs , in his 11 games on loan last season, .

He missed the start of Everton's season because of a groin injury but returned in the Reserves last week after being out for two months.

With first choice Tim Howard sidelined by a broken finger, Stefan Wessels, signed from Bayern Munich last month, has been getting a first-team chance, and ex-Cambridge keeper John Ruddy has been on the bench.

Wednesday's ex-Everton striker, Francis Jeffers, represents another link between tonight's Carling Cup opponents, as does Everton goalkeeping coach and former Owls keeper Chris Woods.

"They're a club that should be in the Premier League," said Woods, talking about the Owls. "The fan base is enormous. They deserve better. It's going to be a long road back to the Premiership but hopefully they will do it.

"They will be right up for the game, and it's not going to be an easy one. We will have to give it our all. There should be a good atmosphere and it could well be an old-fashioned cup tie."

Woods is also an admirer of Brian Laws' philosophy. "He wants to play football; he's not hit and hope," he said.

The match is the first of three important ones for Everton in the space of nine days.

The club are aiming to avoid a Cup exit at the hands of the Owls; put their Premiership campaign back on course when they face Middlesbrough at home on Sunday; and revive their UEFA Cup hopes the following Thursday when they face Metalist Kharkiv again.

The Ukrainian outfit escaped from Goodison Park last Thursday with a 1-1 draw after having two men sent off and benefitting from two penalty misses by Andrew Johnson.

Everton then lost 2-0 at Aston Villa on Sunday and have slipped to ninth in the table after starting well.

The fact that the Toffees' Europe date took place last Thursday resulted in the Sunday date for the Villa game and in turn meant the Owls having to switch from their usual match night of Tuesday.

Former United midfielder Phil Jagielka looks at the games ahead and says: "It is an important week for us. We know we need to start creating chances and push on from here as quickly as we can.

"Sheffield Wednesday hopefully will be the perfect place for us to get a goal or two.

"If we can do that we will get a bit of confidence back. But we won't be underestimating the challenge.

"Hopefully we will get the job done and then we can start to concentrate on the Premier League again. We've got a lot to play for, and with a bit of luck we'll all be smiling again after we've played Kharkiv."