Wednesday embrace hectic start

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SHEFFIELD Wednesday have no immediate plans to ask the Football League to put back their opening away fixture of the 2011/12 season at Bournemouth by 24 hours, The Star has learned.

Gary Megson’s men will travel to Dean Court on Saturday August 13, less than two days after locking horns with Blackpool in the first round of the Carling Cup.

Wednesday’s meeting with the Seasiders has been selected for live coverage on Sky Sports, with kick-off at 7.45pm. In 2010, the club were knocked out in the second round of the competition by Scunthorpe United.

Although it means the club will pocket £100,000 from the televised showdown, the big drawback is that Wednesday will have to play three times in the space of six days.

After hosting Blackpool, Megson’s troops face a 488-mile round trip to the Cherries, who were beaten in the semi-finals of the League One play-offs by Huddersfield Town last year, before heading to newly-promoted Bury on Tuesday August 16.

A spokesman for Wednesday said: “These games will take place at their scheduled times.”

Even if Wednesday wanted to re-arrange the Bournemouth encounter to Sunday August 14, it is doubtful the Cherries would be receptive to this move seen as though it is their first home match of the season and any switch could impact on their gate.

To cope with the hectic schedule, Megson may have to shrewdly rotate his squad. It is plausible the Owls manager could decide to field a weakened team in the cup against Blackpool. His top priority is to lead the club back into the Championship so he will want a decent points haul from the away double header with Bournemouth and Bury.