Sturrock warns Wednesday not to believe 'bigger club' play-off hype

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The Independent Football

Paul Sturrock answers questions about his sacking by Southampton by advising people to wait for the autobiography. A positive new chapter could be penned in the League One play-off final tomorrow, when he insists his Sheffield Wednesday side should be ranked as underdogs against Hartlepool United.

Paul Sturrock answers questions about his sacking by Southampton by advising people to wait for the autobiography. A positive new chapter could be penned in the League One play-off final tomorrow, when he insists his Sheffield Wednesday side should be ranked as underdogs against Hartlepool United.

Wednesday will have 40,000 fans at the Millennium Stadium, twice the number backing Hartlepool. They were in the Premiership in 2000, when their opponents were in the former Fourth Division. Yet the trappings of the 'bigger' club do not guarantee promotion, warned Sturrock. "Everyone seems to make us favourites," he said. "But Hartlepool beat us 3-0 recently whereas we beat them 2-0, so they're 3-2 up."

Success would take Sturrock and Wednesday to the same level as relegated Southampton and Rupert Lowe, who fired him after two matches this season. The Scot declines to discuss that, focusing instead on reviving Wednesday. "I like turning this sort of club around. Sooner or later, someone will get it right."

Hartlepool have two ex-Wednesday players in Ashley Westwood and Ritchie Humphreys. Since the unexpected exit of Neale Cooper, they have been under the caretaker managership of Martin Scott, himself from Sheffield.

In today's League Two final, Southend United make their third trip in 14 months to the stadium, facing Lincoln City under the pressure of having lost on both previous occasions.

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