Sheffield Wednesday: Millwall face Owls big test

Anthony Gardner gets to grips with Rotherham striker Alex Revell
Anthony Gardner gets to grips with Rotherham striker Alex Revell
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Millwall manager Steve Lomas is warning his win-less team that they face a “physical” test at Hillsborough today.

He is not the first team boss to highlight the size of the Owls squad.

They have become known throughout the Championship as powerful opposition.

The signings of Kamil Zayatte and Adthe Nuhiu have added to the armoury.

Zayatte headed a goal from a corner at Leeds last week, and he and Anthony Gardner can provide a formidable defensive barrier.

The Owls also have tall players in every department. So Lomas said: “It will be a very tough game and we’ll have to stand up to the physical challenge, that’s for certain, because Wednesday are a big side.”

Lomas seeks his first point as Lions boss, after joing them from St Johnstone, while the Owls look for their first win and Nuhiu chases his first home goal.

Although at 6ft 6in he is the tallest Wednesday player, an inch bigger than Gardner, the striker feels that he is still short of fitness and still adjusting to the English game.

“I didn’t really have a pre-season and I know I’m not 100 per cent ready,” said Nuhiu, who played in Austria and Turkey.

“For sure I can do better, game by game,” he added. “English football is completely different from where I played before. So it’s not just the fitness; I need to adapt to English football as well; this also will need a bit of time.

“It’s tougher (here). In Europe the referees give some fouls against me. Here, they jump on me and it’s not a foul. It’s not an excuse. I need to learn that and improve on that. As soon as I do it, it will be better for me.

“I knew this was a hard league league. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the Premier League or the Championship: I knew it would be difficult. But I am ready for that.

“This is a good club and I am happy to be here.”

He plans to increase his strength and says he has benefited from the matchplay he has enjoyed so far, which has included a 90-minute outing, against Burnley.

And his goal at QPR showed that he can be capable with his feet as well as dangerous in the air.

He added: “Outside the area I can do good things as well.” With Reda Johnson adding his pace and power to the side, Lewis Buxton back and Jermaine Johnson free from suspension after today, Dave Jones feels that the squad are virtually “in full flight” after various problems.

“We’ll get stronger and better,” he said. Jones also sees a “bit of steeliness” about the Owls, especially after the draw at Leeds.

Lomas, meanwhile, says Millwall will have an attacking outlook: “I want to be positive,” he said. “I think that’s the way football should be played. We’ve been working on our build-up play, getting crosses into the box and generally being positive. If we keep creating chances, the goals will come.”