Sheffield Wednesday: Owls braced for Leeds backlash

Kamil Zayatte raises his fist and celebrates with team-mates after his goal at Leeds
Kamil Zayatte raises his fist and celebrates with team-mates after his goal at Leeds
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Wednesday are ready to face a Leeds comeback bid in Saturday’s televised Yorkshire derby at Hillsborough.

Whites manager Brian McDermott is looking for a reaction from his players to their shock 2-0 defeat at Rochdale in the FA Cup.

Leeds have also lost their last two Championship games: 2-1 at Forest and 2-1 at home to Blackburn, to follow draws with Blackpool and Barnsley.

But equally it is a chance for the Owls to shine in front of the Sky cameras when Saturday’s game kicks off at 12.15pm.

Connor Wickham is set to return after being ineligible for the Cup tie at Macclesfield and is shortlisted for the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month award, in view of his form and four goals in his four December games.

The other contenders are Derby midfielder Craig Bryson, Burnley full back Kieran Trippier and Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater. The winner will be announced tomorrow.

Wednesday drew 1-1 in the televised game at Elland Road in August, with a battling display and a goal from Kamil Zayatte.

McDermott, in the wake of the Rochdale upset, says: “You never take anything for granted after a result like that, but you should always get a reaction.”

The Elland Road boss is also hoping to strengthen his side before the weekend and has been linked with Hull winger Cameron Stewart, who played against the Owls on December 29 while on loan at Charlton. Leeds are already receiving extra funding from a consortium, Sport Capital, who will acquire a 75 per cent stake in them this month.

The team have not won since a 3-0 victory at Doncaster in mid-December but are eighth in the table, a point below the play-off places.

Zayatte’s goal at Elland Road is his only one for the Owls so far, and his first season for the club turned sour when he joined fellow centre halves Anthony Gardner and Martin Taylor on the long-term injured list.

While Wednesday try to sign a centre half and a striker, having also recalled Caolan Lavery early from his loan at Plymouth, Leeds boss McDermott has said: “I’d like to think that we’ll have someone in before Sheffield Wednesday.”