SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Air raid warning

Aerial power: Owls skipper and centre-half Martin Taylor.

Aerial power: Owls skipper and centre-half Martin Taylor.

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WOLVES manager Stale Solbakken is warning his team to be prepared for an aerial threat from Sheffield Wednesday at Molineux today.

He believes that set-pieces may be a potent weapon for Dave Jones’ side as they bid to avoid a sixth successive defeat.

Solbakken cites centre-halves Martin Taylor and Anthony Gardner and striker Jay Bothroyd as men who could undermine his team’s chances of a fourth Championship win on the trot.

The Molineux chief also pinpoints Reda Johnson’s ability in the air.

The left-back has already scored three goals in only five full games this season and has been hoping to overcome a foot injury in time to return today.

But it could be a landmark occasion for his recent replacement, Daniel Jones, who would be making his 100th League start, against his boyhood team.

Solbakken said: “We face a team which is very physical which scores a lot of goals and creates a lot of chances from set-pieces.

“Anthony Gardner, Martin Taylor and their left-back are really good at set-

pieces and Jay Bothroyd makes it four players who can destroy you from those.

“Three of their back four are very competitive in the air so it’s important that we don’t give too many free-kicks and corners away, because on their day they can harm any team.”

He also expects spirited resistance from the Owls: “The players must remember it may be a physical battle for a while and then play after that and

not be naive. We have to run and we have to fight at the beginning of the game to make sure we’re in the right position.”

Wolves have re-emerged as strong promotion contenders after an improved run in the league.

Solbakken said: “We have stressed to the team in training the need to live up to expectations. Maybe there are more expectations after three wins in a row and the players must be aware of that.”

But Daniel Jones, who came through the Molineux youth

system and is a member of a family of Wolves fans, believes that this can be an occasion for a Wednesday breakthrough.

“It is a good game for us,” says the 25-year-old defender. “Wolves are a big team who have just come out of the Premier League and it would be a good one for us to get back to winning ways.

“We feel as if we’ve been getting punished for everything. But we’re a confident bunch of lads and we stick together as a team. Hopefully we’ll turn it around at Wolves.

“As a footballer you look forward to every game, but when you’ve just got promoted and the other team have just come down from the Premier League, it’s a chance to show what you can do.

“Wolves are a good team.

“I think we are as good and this game is one where we can turn things around.”

Jones joined the Owls from Molineux two years ago on a free transfer.

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