Sheffield Wednesday: Loovens homes in on win

Owls boss Stuart Gray with skipper Glenn Loovens
Owls boss Stuart Gray with skipper Glenn Loovens
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Captain Glenn Loovens is confident Sheffield Wednesday will soon break their Hillsborough duck.

The Owls have yet to record a league victory in their own back-yard this season, accruing just two points from a possible nine on offer.

Indeed, Stuart Gray’s men have failed to win any of their last seven home Championship matches. You have to go back to March 25 for the last time Wednesday picked up maximum points on their own turf.

But given the positive start the Owls have made to the 2014/15 season, club officials are hoping for a big turn-out as they prepare to tackle Reading and have reduced ticket prices for the fixture. Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions in all areas of the ground.

Dutch centre-half Loovens claims Wednesday have been “unlucky” in front of their own supporters.

“We’ve been unlucky in our home games; we’ve played some good sides,” he said. “We were a bit unlucky against Millwall and I thought we were on top in the Nottingham Forest game.

“You always want to play well in front of your home crowd. I don’t think it is a case that we have played badly. We just need a little more quality in the final third.”

“It’s about time we get results at home. I’m sure if we play like we did at Birmingham, it’s only a matter of time before we start picking up results.

“We should be confident because we are doing well as a team but we can’t take it for granted. We still need to work hard and want to give another good performance on Saturday.”

Gray’s side lie in seventh position after Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Birmingham City. Victory stretched Wednesday’s unbeaten away run to five matches and sealed their sixth clean sheet in nine outings.

Loovens said: “Everyone deserves a big pat on the back for how we have done defensively. It’s not just the defenders; it’s the midfielders and attackers. They work so hard for the team and I think it is shown in the results.

“It’s a collective, team effort. If the wing men don’t track their runners, it gives us a problem. They keep picking and tracking them so it makes it easier for us.”

Former Celtic and Cardiff City defender Loovens returned to the starting line-up in midweek, having missed the goalless draw at Bolton Wanderers due to suspension for chalking up five yellow cards.

“Birmingham is my first league match without a yellow so I’m delighted with that,” he joked. “The lads gave me a bit of a stick but it’s part of the job.

“I was getting a bit anxious because I had gone nearly three weeks without a game. It was good to be back on the pitch and help the team keep a clean sheet and get three points.”

Loovens is unfazed over his disciplinary record, insisting: “If I get them (bookings) for dirty play, fair enough.

“When I look back at my yellows, one of them was for talking, one was for splitting up a fight and another was for handball when the ball hit my stomach.

“It’s not like I’ve been going through players. It’s part of football and I took it on the chin and I look forward now.

“I think I have been suspended two or three times in my whole career so I don’t really worry about it.”