Sheffield Wednesday out to avoid cup drama at Exeter as Thompson spells out 'priorities'

Sheffield Wednesday make the trip to Exeter City this afternoon hoping to avoid an FA Cup giant killing and claim a place in the competition’s fourth round.

Saturday, 9th January 2021, 7:00 am

The Owls make the trip without a number of first team faces including caretaker management team Neil Thompson, Lee Bullen and Steve Haslam, three of the ‘significant number’ of positive coronavirus cases to have taken place at the club this week.

Academy coach Andy Holdsworth will take the team for the trip to the League Two Grecians. He has been in constant communication with Thompson throughout the week.

And despite a whirlwind of distraction around them, Thompson had no doubt as to the club’s desire to get through into the next round.

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Sheffield Wednesday line up at Exeter City this afternoon.

“Any game you play is a priority,” he said. “It’s a chance to impress. That’s whether you’re a manager, player, a young player getting an opportunity, you’re on show.

“The priority is always the next game and in the middle of a run where we’ve got a few points, we’ve got to try to keep that going. In the midst of everything that’s going on around us, you’ve got to keep a clear head and focus on what we’re doing. I’m sure the boys will be doing that.”

Wednesday players and staff have been working from home this week, with their Middlewood Road training ground out of bounds due to the outbreak.

Thompson and Holdsworth have been in communication with the home-bound Wednesday analysis team and have prepared as best they can for the St James Park clash.

“They [Exeter] are a decent team, they’re lying 10th in League Two and they’ve got one or two threats that we know about. Our focus is on them but also on us, getting us in the right frame of mind to try and do a job.

“We want to get into the next round, that’s for sure.

“Cup games are different. They’ll be wanting a scalp, Exeter and you can’t expect to just rock up in these games.

“They’re tough games. I remember we went down there a few years ago and it was a tough game. We won’t expect anything less.”

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