Sheffield Wednesday use 20 players as Xisco’s men play out draw in heated affair

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Sheffield Wednesday drew 0-0 with Real Murcia at Pinatar Arena on Tuesday night, with 20 players featuring their first Spanish friendly.

Xisco went strong with his XI, naming a whole host of senior players to kick things off against the Murcians, but there was a place for Pierce Charles in goal, Jay Glover at right back and Sean Fusire on the right wing – all three being handed a chance to showcase whether they’re able to take the step up more regularly.

Despite the 8pm kick off local time, it was still over 30°C by the time things got underway, Wednesday had spent days acclimatising, but Tuesday had been the hottest day of their camp so far.

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Glover was involved early doors in an attack from the locals that resulted in him clearing a goalbound effort, and Dominic Iorfa did the same seconds later with the follow-up effort. It was very nearly first blood to the team in red.

Ironically it was only when the weather cooled off that things started to heat up on the pitch. Barry Bannan was booked just before the half-hour mark after a tangle by the centre circle, a few pushes, shoves and a drinks break followed. The manager had a little chat with a couple of his players to no doubt reiterate more of what he’d been telling them in training, and it was also a chance for Marvin Johnson to get some treatment – though it was decided that he wouldn’t be risked any further and was replaced by Luke Cook.

Charles was forced into his first real save of the game just before half time, getting down low to keep the scores level, and Glover was on hand once more with the follow-up to get in the way of a strike that would almost certainly have made it 1-0.

Half time brought changes once more, Cameron Dawson, Adam Alimi-Adetoro, Michael Ihiekwe, Cian Flannery, Will Vaulks, Rio Shipston, George Byers and Lee Gregory all coming onto the field - just Iorfa, Tyreeq Bakinson and Cook remained on the pitch.

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It took just under an hour for Wednesday to fashion their first real chance, but Antonio Gallego tipped Bakinson’s strike over the ball after a nice move that saw Shipston win the ball and Byers cut it back for the number 19. Fusire and Glover returned to the field with half an hour to go, probably further proof of how slim the Owls’ squad is right now.

Unsurprisingly the tie lacked real intensity in play, especially after all the changes, but there was still a little needle to it now and again. Shipston was booked for a big challenge by the halfway line, moments after he’d been clattered himself, and there were plenty of raised voices.

Alimi-Adetoro’s bullet header clipped the crossbar late on and Pablo Ganet blazed over for Murcia, but it seemed destined for a 0-0 draw. 90 more minutes done, and it’s back to work tomorrow as they begin preparations for Friday night’s return to this evening’s venue.


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