Exeter City V Sheffield Wednesday: Irvine all set to throw Mellor back into fray

LEAGUE ONE: SHEFFIELD Wednesday will be boosted by the return of Neil Mellor for today's trip to Exeter.

Former Liverpool striker Mellor, who is on loan from Preston North End until the end of the season, has missed the Owls' last two games with an ankle injury.

He returned to full training this week and could be thrown straight back into action as the Owls seek a victory which could return the club to the top of the League One table.

Irvine, meanwhile, says he will not be rushed into a permanent deal for Mellor despite having extra funds to spend in the transfer market following Milan Mandaric's takeover.

He has also ruled out the need for 'big money' deals in the New Year transfer window, saying: "What everybody has to understand is that we are not going to be spending lots of money. It is going to be a case of seeing what we can get that will strengthen us at this point. It's a nice position to be in actually, to be starting to look at different options."

Exeter will be playing on home soil for the first time in five weeks due to bad weather and the game is the first meeting between the two clubs in 30 years.

With the Owls selling their full allocation of 1,200 tickets, Exeter are hoping to beat their biggest gate of the season, 7,401 (against Bristol Rovers).

Manager Paul Tisdale said: "We've been playing our best football this year on home soil so we're hoping that the game will bring back our best form. I expect Sheffield Wednesday to be quite confident and I imagine they'll see this as a game they can win.

"I'm sure their manager will be respectful but I think it's our job to take the game to them."