No extra respect to Sheffield Wednesday, vows Shrewsbury Town's Aaron Pierre

Sheffield Wednesday away was probably the fixture most Shrewsbury fans looked for first in the League One calendar.

But for players – including Aaron Pierre, who heads to Hillsborough for a first time in his career – the message and approach does not waver.

Despite a rocky start to the campaign, there has been an anticipation for a first visit to Wednesday in a generation where the hosts have played in front of crowds of more than 20,000 in the third tier this season.

The historic and old-school arena is undoubtedly a step up from games at the likes of Morecambe and Accrington Stanley – without disrespecting those smaller League One rivals who have both chalked up home wins over Town this season.

Pierre, 28, insists Shrewsbury players will not bring any extra respect to the door at Hillsborough because of the club’s stature, or because players have spent many seasons playing at higher levels. Indeed, visiting boss Steve Cotterill admitted that his opposite number tomorrow Darren Moore has an ‘embarrassment of riches’ for a third tier squad.

“I have to treat any player and any club the same in any circumstance,” said powerful defender Pierre.

“They are in our league, it’s not like it’s the FA Cup against a Championship or Premier League team, where it changes a little bit, it’s against a team you will play twice this year. You have to go head on with it, 100 miles per hour, making sure it’s man-v-man, I’m always ready for the battle.

“I’ve never played there myself personally, it’ll be a great experience, I’m sure they are going to have loads of fans there.

“But it’s the same at Portsmouth, for example, there was a period they were in the Premier League and are a massive team in our league. We have to treat them the same way.

“As much as Sheffield Wednesday have only just came down from the Championship and are a massive club with a massive fanbase, we have to treat it the same way if we were playing Portsmouth, or Ipswich, or any other big club in our league.”

Pierre has overcome vision problems that forced him off late last weekend after an elbow to the head left him ‘seeing double’.

He added: “It’s all about the spirit and mentality within the team. You’re not playing against the status of the club, you’re playing against the players. We just have to keep believing, working hard and give 110 per cent.

“It’s on anyone’s day, anything can happen, so hopefully it’s on our side tomorrow.”

Cotterill said of the Owls, who are back in the third tier for the first time since 2012: “Sheffield Wednesday are a huge club, arguably the biggest in the division, those and Sunderland are nip and tuck.

“The quality of player they’ve got is very, very good. I like Darren Moore and get on well with him. Sometimes he’s got awkward decisions because he’s got an embarrassment of riches in certain position, which sometimes can make it more difficult. Having said that I’m sure he wouldn’t swap that!

“I think (the style) is a little bit indifferent because he hasn’t been there very long yet, whereas at Doncaster we saw a passing style. That’s probably what he’ll want to make sure he gets through there.

“They’ve tried to play that possession-based football. I’m sure he’ll look to improve on their last couple of results.”

Cotterill reached out to former West Brom and Doncaster boss Moore while the ex-defender was struggling with Covid-19 earlier this year. The Town boss also revealed he spoke with Chris Hughton at the beginning of this week as rumours swirled around the Nottingham Forest boss’s future. Hughton was axed by the Championship club, whom Cotterill managed in 2011/12, yesterday morning.

Town striker Rekeil Pyke, meanwhile, will miss the trip to Hillsborough after he tested positive for Covid-19.

Pyke, 24, is self isolating for 10 days in line with government guidance and it is unclear if he will be available for the home clash against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday week.

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