Sheffield Wednesday’s Steve Agnew on underdog experience and why anything can happen in the FA Cup

Going into an FA Cup match as underdogs is not a new feeling as a coach for Steve Agnew.

The Owls caretaker manager is familiar with that tag being attached to his team after reaching the FA Cup final with Hull City in 2014, but this time things are different as he was front and centre to answer questions from the media in place of the incoming Steve Bruce.

Owls caretaker Manager Steve Agnew. Pic Steve Ellis.

Owls caretaker Manager Steve Agnew. Pic Steve Ellis.

With Sunday’s match set to be his last in charge as interim chief, the significance of a trip to Stamford Bridge for the fourth round tie is not lost on Agnew who believes the Owls can pull off an upset at the home of the holders.

"Traditionally, Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday are two massive clubs,” he said.

“Chelsea have gone to be unbelievably successful in recent years and Sheffield Wednesday have been out of the Premier League for a while.

"It's a fantastic football fixture for all involved. It's the FA Cup so we are all really really looking forward to the tie as are 6,000 Sheffield Wednesday supporters.

"The one success we had with Hull was getting to an FA Cup final and playing Arsenal. We were underdogs that day and we were two nil up. We lost in extra-time but we ran Arsenal very close so that was my experience as a coach.

"Cup upsets happen every year. Of course you need the bounce of the ball and a little bit of luck on the day.

“But the players have been terrific all week and there is an excitement around the training ground. There is a real buzz about the players and they are all looking forward to it.”

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The match is marked change in mindset for the Wednesday players who were considered top dogs in the last round of the competition when they took on Luton over a two-legged replay.

But Agnew believes the difficulty of the clash at Kenilworth Road has prepared Wednesday for the challenge Chelsea pose. 

"The Luton games were very difficult. They had not been beaten at Kenilworth Road for almost a year and were second in League One and are a very, very good team so we had to overcome that.

"It was a really tough tie at Luton and the players showed an unbelievable spirit. 

"It is the challenge of playing against the best players in the world for our players and I just feel they are ready to take the challenge on.

I don't know what Sarri's team is going to be but he has got many, many players and top internationals that he can call upon to freshen the team up.

"Is it an advantage because we haven't had a game? It depends on the changes to the Chelsea team but all I do know is our players are fresh, fit and ready.”