Sheffield Wednesday: Gray plots to blunt Sharp

Doncaster boss Paul Dickov.
Doncaster boss Paul Dickov.
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Doncaster boss Paul Dickov insists that Rovers rise to the occasion in high-pressure situations.

But Stuart Gray points to the way his team won impressively in their last Yorkshire derby, 2-0 at Huddersfield.

As on that day, the Owls will have a big following - 4,200 this time - and both managers are relishing tomorrow’s clash.

Dickov has backed his side to produce the goods: “Whenever teams that have hit good form have come and there’s been a big atmosphere at our place, then we produce, more often than not,” he said.

“It’s got the makings of a real exciting game and it’s one I’m looking forward to.

“It’s two teams that are in form, two teams that will be right up for it. When you get clubs with big followings coming here, our fans have really risen to it as well.

“These are the games you’ve got to embrace and enjoy.”

Dickov is encouraging his side to continue their strong home form. Rovers have won four and drawn three in the seven home games since Boxing Day.

Dickov said: “Our home form has been fantastic, and we’re turning the place into a right fortress.

“For us to go where we want to go, we need to keep that up right up until the end of the season, because there are a lot of big games coming up. At home especially, we’ve been playing some really good football.”

One of Wednesday’s tasks is to put the shackles on Billy Sharp, one of their former transfer targets. The ex-Blades striker said: “I’m a Sheffield United fan, yes, but I want to score in every game and that’ll be the same this weekend.”

Sharp hit the winner when Wednesday lost 1-0 at the Keepmoat in December, 2009.

He said: “It was sweet to get the winner against the enemy, and 1-0 – there’s no better scoreline. I’d take that again on Saturday.”

Wednesday plan to try to cut off the supply to him. Gray said: “He’s a fox in the box; he’s done it throughout his career.

“He reads things, he gambles; they’re an honest bunch of lads.

“They’ve got Wellens in midfield who can hurt you with his passing and dominate the game. But I’m more concerned with us imposing our style on them.”

Gray recalled Dave Jones’ attempt to sign Sharp on loan before he went to Reading: “He was one of many strikers we looked at.”