Starting the season with a 12 point deduction, that was later halved to six, Sheffield Wednesday have kept chipping away at their deficit and remain within touching distance of safety as we head into the final third of the campaign.
They have done that despite seeing both Garry Monk and Tony Pulis leave their roles as Head Coach during the campaign; former Ipswich Town defender Neil Thompson the man who currently occupies the dugout.
Thompson has won more games (five) in his nine game spell in charge than both Monk and Pulis managed in their combined 21 to begin the campaign.
A 2-0 home win over Wycombe Wanderers earlier this month briefly moved The Owls out of the bottom three for only the second time this campaign but they have slipped back to 23rd following consecutive 1-0 defeats.
Wednesday are the division's lowest scorers, registering 21 in 30 matches, but have been mean defensively. They've conceded just 32 times this term which is the seventh best record in the division.
Rico Henry is set to be out for a couple of months with a hamstring injury while Thomas Frank revealed both Ivan Toney (ankle) and Josh Dasilva (hip) will not start tonight. This game comes just too soon for Christian Norgaard (ankle) and Emiliano Marcondes (back) while Pontus Jansson is targeting a return around the next international break. Marcus Forss will be absent tonight with concussion while Shandon Baptiste (knee) and Charlie Goode (illness) are the longer term absentees.
For The Owls, Liam Shaw is suspended; Joey Pelupessy, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru and Izzy Brown are in contention to replace him while Jordan Rhodes looks set to return up front as Thompson mulls a return to a 3-5-2. Massimo Luongo (thigh) and winger Andre Green (Achilles) are unlikely to be involved with Moses Odubajo (hamstring) and Joost van Aken (ankle) also out.
Neil Thompson took over at Hillsborough just before the New Year, nearly 17 years after his last managerial job in the EFL.
A defender during his playing days, Thompson began his career at Nottingham Forest but left without playing a first team game. After a spell with Hull City, he dropped into the non-league with Scarborough, winning the football conference in 1987. He made nearly 300 appearances with Boro before moving onto Ipswich Town in 1989. Promotion to the top flight came with The Tractor Boys in 1992. He was a regular in the Premier Division over the next two-and-a-half years before leaving for Barnsley where he would win promotion from the Championship in 1997. By the time he retired in 2003, he had made 476 professional appearances, scoring 54 goals, as well as another 200 games with Scarborough in the non-league.
His first mangerial roles were all player manager roles at York City, Scarborough, and Boston United. He then went into coaching within the Academy set-up at Leeds United and latterly Sheffield Wednesday, winning the PDL North and National title in 2016/17 with Wednesday's Under-23s.
⚖ Jeremy Simpson will be the man in charge tonight
🆚 BBC Sheffield's Andy Giddings previews The Owls
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