Owls boss not wise enough to guess Roy

ALAN Irvine, the Sheffield Wednesday manager, admits that he is unable to second guess the team he'll be facing at Hillsborough today (kick-off 3pm).The Owls need three points to open up a four-point gap on third-from-bottom Town; while Irvine is well aware that Ipswich could plunge his team into the drop zone if the visitors come out on top.

Elvin King

ALAN Irvine, the Sheffield Wednesday manager, admits that he is unable to second guess the team he'll be facing at Hillsborough today (kick-off 3pm).

The Owls need three points to open up a four-point gap on third-from-bottom Town; while Irvine is well aware that Ipswich could plunge his team into the drop zone if the visitors come out on top.

It is likely to be nerve-jangling afternoon with Wednesday's fans desperate for a win having lost at home to Doncaster on Tuesday.

Irvine, who switched from Preston to the Owls earlier this season, said: “Normally we try to second-guess what the opposing manager's team will be. It's very difficult with the squad that Roy Keane has got, and the alternatives he has.

“There will be quite a few players with Premier League experience, and the rest of them will certainly have Championship experience.

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“If they had converted some of those draws into wins, they would have been in a very different position.

“They play at a high tempo. They do get the ball forward well. We have to be ready for whatever way they try to attack us. Hopefully we can win the ball back and hurt them.

“If we win we open up a nice gap on them. If they win they go above us. There will probably be a few games of this sort between now and the end of the season.”

Irvine, who is expected to select an unchanged side, is confident his team can bounce back after their midweek reverse.

He went on: “Everybody loses games in this league.

“You just have to look what has happened to Nottingham Forest, who seemed invincible a few weeks ago.

“It's how you bounce back that's the important thing.

“We have experienced Championship players; they wouldn't be at this level if they couldn't respond in the right way.

“Ipswich have suffered because they have drawn too many games. I'm sure Roy would rather have won some and lost some, rather than having so many draws.

“He was a fantastic player, everybody knows that. When I was a player at Everton, our record against Manchester United like everybody else's was not fantastic! We got the odd result against them.

“As a manager I've only come up against him once, in the opening month of the season, when Preston drew 1-1 there.

“We played the whole of the second half with 10 men and felt a bit hard done to, with Callum Davidson's sending-off first and foremost, and with the fact we didn't win; we played very well.”