Sheffield Wednesday: Keiren Westwood and Tom Lees ‘must step up’ in Glenn Loovens absence

Glenn Loovens with Tom Lees

Glenn Loovens with Tom Lees

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Stuart Gray says he will demand more of Tom Lees and Keiren Westwood to cover the absence of Glenn Loovens this afternoon.

The Owls skipper is banned for the next two matches after picking up ten yellow cards this season.

And Gray says the responsibility of leadership will fall to Lees and Westwood today.

“We’re going to lose Glenn’s leadership qualities,” Gray said.

“He’s a talker so suddenly there maybe more demands put on Tom Lees and Keiren Westwood to do a bit of talking.”

Gray claims he has yet to decide who will take the captain’s armband in Loovens’ absence.

But he is calling on his players to each step up like a skipper against the Bluebirds.

And he says he has sympathy with Loovens over his ban.

Gray said: “You want 11 captains out there on the pitch anyway.

“I’ve not really made the decision who the actual captain will be.

“We all knew Glenn was walking on eggshells.

“I don’t know how he has got ten bookings because he’s not a dirty player.”

With Loovens ruled out, there is a rare opportunity for someone to come in at centre half.

And Gray wants that man to stake a claim on the position. He said: “I had 24 outfield players joining in training on Thursday which was great.

“It was high intensity and they were all trying to hit me in the eye.

“They all want to play.

“The last thing I want is somebody to be happy or comfortable not to be playing. I want them all fighting to get into the 11.

“If you’ve got the shirt, they’ve got to make it difficult for them to leave me out.

“It’s a squad game. There will be times when we rotate players.

“Whatever 11 I put out there, we will giving it a right good go.”

Jose Semedo is a doubt for today’s game due to a toe infection.

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