Football: Warhurst back for Wednesday

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PAUL WARHURST, the Sheffield Wednesday striker who was close to death after being knocked unconscious during the Uefa Cup first round, first leg match against Spora Luxembourg at Hillsborough a fortnight ago, makes a welcome return to the side for tonight's second leg.

Warhurst is one of eight changes made by Trevor Francis from the side that beat Tottenham 2-0 last Sunday as he takes the opportunity to rest players with his team already 8-1 ahead. 'Paul made an effort to be fit for the Tottenham match but felt a little dizzy. Since then he has trained again and feels he is ready to return,' Francis said. 'Ultimately the decision was left to him. He has a new air of confidence about playing up front.'

Warhurst replaces the ineligible Mark Bright and Francis gives debuts to the centre-half Julian Watts, signed from Rotherham for pounds 80,000 last season, and the young winger Michael Williams.

'Both have both done well for the reserves and this is an ideal opportunity for them,' Francis said. 'Although we are leading 8-1 they will always be able to say they made their debuts in a European competition.'

Among those missing from the starting line-up are the England internationals, Chris Woods, Chris Waddle, Carlton Palmer and Viv Anderson, plus Chris Bart-Williams.

Meanwhile Bruce Grobbelaar yesterday admitted that Liverpool were pleased with their 2-1 second-leg victory over Apollon Limassol in the first round of the Uefa Cup on Tuesday, after having Paul Stewart sent off.

'The players arrived back feeling relieved,' Grobbelaar said. 'It is very important we won because if we had lost or drawn everyone would have been on our backs. We were down to 10 men with a silly sending-off and good play-acting by their keeper.

'We deserved to go through, we played good football on a difficult surface. The young ones have shown they can play but in this game the experienced ones did really well.'