Whoever is in charge of Sheffield Wednesday next season will be acutely aware that the club’s number one priority will be a top-six Championship tilt.
Nonetheless, a good cup run would benefit the club financially and potentially have a positive knock on effect to their league form.
And the Owls will fancy their chances of progressing in the Capital One Cup after being paired with League Two outfit Mansfield Town yesterday. Wednesday will entertain The Stags, who finished 21st in the bottom tier of the Football League pyramid last season, in the first round of the tournament, with all ties be played in the week commencing August 10.
The Owls reached the third round of the tournament last season, beating Notts County and Burnley before suffering a 7-0 thrashing at Premier League heavyweights Manchester City while Mansfield slipped up at the first hurdle, falling to a 2-1 defeat at Sheffield United.
Adam Murray, the Stags boss, is relishing the prospect of taking on Wednesday.
“It’s a good tie for us and a big game,” he said. “It’s nice to play against a big club so early on in the season and it’ll be good to gauge ourselves against them.
“They [Wednesday] are a huge club who probably haven’t reached their potential over the last few years. They have a great stadium, excellent fans and it’ll be a good game for us.”
When Mansfield last travelled to South Yorkshire, they gave a good account of themselves against Wednesday’s neighbours United but were edged out thanks to a late strike by Marc McNulty.
“We faced one of the Sheffield teams last year and it was a good occasion, so we’ll be looking to go and make our mark on the game and try and progress in the competition,” stressed Murray. “I think it’ll be exciting.
“If it does work out that it’ll be their new manager’s first home game then I imagine there’ll be a big crowd and it’ll create a good atmosphere for our boys.”
It will be the 13th meeting between the two clubs, with the Owls having only won three of the previous tussles.