Sturrock issues warning

SHEFFIELD Wednesday boss Paul Sturrock is looking to up the tempo against Ipswich Town by playing a multi-ball system.The Owls boss Paul Sturrock has called on the partisan home fans to help pile the pressure on the Blues by returning the ball directly to ball boys and not allow them to roll onto the pitch causing play to halt.

By Derek Davis

SHEFFIELD Wednesday boss Paul Sturrock is looking to up the tempo against Ipswich Town by playing a multi-ball system.

The Owls boss Paul Sturrock has called on the partisan home fans to help pile the pressure on the Blues by returning the ball directly to ball boys and not allow them to roll onto the pitch causing play to halt.

Blues boss Joe Royle is not a fan of the multi-ball system and Ipswich Town tried to have it outlawed at a Football League meeting during the close season.


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Sturrock said: “We need to try to play at a higher tempo. The space at the Lower West Stand can be used by the opposition to slow the game down when they are in that goalmouth and they are winning.”

The Owls have already informed Reading official Iain Williamson of their intention to use more than one ball which enables the ball boys to speed the game up if they need to, or slow the game down if it is to the home side's benefit.

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Confusion comes when more than one ball is returned to the pitch, as happened at Sheffield United earlier this season and when Lewis Price tried to use it to Town's advantage he ended up being booked.

Former Blue Drissa Diallo is hoping to make a return from injury but is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench.

The Guinea international has only made five starts this season and was a substitute in the Blues 2-1 win over the Owls last August when he came on for the last half-hour of the match.

He was also returning from an injury that time and is hopeful to play after recovering from a hamstring injury, having played a part in their 1-0 reserve team win in midweek.

Diallo is one of 11 Owls players who have also played for Ipswich.

Jim Magilton, who hopes to make his 300th Blues appearance tomorrow, is also on a list that includes Shefki Kuqi, Steve McCall, David Johnson, Danny Sonner, Mark Burchill, Chris Bart-Williams, Dalian Atkinson, Lee Chapman and Ellis Rimmer.

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