Sheffield Wednesday in Blackburn Rovers battle as they look to defy the odds again

Sheffield Wednesday’s U18s are back in FA Youth Cup action this evening as they travel to Ewood Park to face Blackburn Rovers.

Thursday, 27th January 2022, 12:54 pm

Andy Holdsworth’s side have beaten Burton Albion, Aylestone Park, Southampton and Preston North End to reach the fifth round of the tournament this season – but face their toughest task yet against the Premier Division North leaders.

Blackburn have only lost one league game all season and sit above the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool – winning eight of their 12 games in 2021/22 so far.

But Wednesday managed to beat another top academy when they triumphed over Southampton, and are hopeful that they can do so again tonight.

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Speaking to the club’s official website, academy manager, Steven Haslam, said, “It’s been a fantastic journey for the lads and it’s one we want to continue. We have faced some really difficult games and we expect this one to be no different.

“Blackburn are a Category One team and they have been from the start since EPPP was introduced.

“But, we have already shown with our performance down at Southampton, against a Category One academy, what we can do. We’ll go to Ewood Park tonight and give it a right good go.

Sheffield Wednesday are hoping to progress in the FA Youth Cup against Blackburn Rovers. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

“The staff, Andy Holdsworth and Andy Sharp, have prepared the team, we watched Blackburn on Saturday and we feel we can go there and give them a good game.”

He also went on to add how special this tournament can be in a player’s career, saying, “They are special nights for the lads,” he continued. “Some of them have been here since the age of seven or eight and it’s another shared experience that will stay with them.

“It has always been a prestigious competition, you think of the FA Cup for the seniors and it’s the same at this level – the experience of playing in front of family, friends and supporters in a stadium.

“Pretty much every pro in the game will have fond memories of the playing in the FA Youth Cup and will tell you how important it was to them. Hopefully our lads can go one step further this evening.”