Sheffield Wednesday: Owls surprise McClaren

Steve McClaren was QPR coach when the Owls lost at Loftus Road

Steve McClaren was QPR coach when the Owls lost at Loftus Road

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Steve McClaren has admitted that Wednesday’s lack of a win was a big surprise to him after he saw them in the first match of the season.

The former England boss was a QPR coach when Harry Redknapp’s side beat the Owls 2-1.

McClaren was impressed by Wednesday’s performance that day and feels that now, with the extra boost of a victory behind them, they will present a big threat to his Derby team today.

He finds it “unbelievable, a big surprise” that the Owls’ win against Reading was their first of the season.

“We won 2-1, and Sheffield Wednesday were a good team. They caused a lot of problems; they were powerful; I cannot believe their first win only came last week. But that is the Championship,” he said.

“They had drawn six of the last eight games before that win. They were very close to turning it around.

“They will think they have turned it around; we have to make sure that we carry on what we are doing.”

Last week’s 2-1 defeat at QPR for Derby was their first since McClaren was appointed to succeed Nigel Clough.

McClaren also said: “This is another big test for us.

“What you get each week in the Championship is a different test, a different game.

“Connor Wickham and Matty Fryatt have come in and scored goals for them. That is the beauty of the loan system: you can change your squad.

“They will be looking forward to this game and we have to make sure we stand up to that.”

Wednesday’s 11 today is likely to include only four of the players who started at QPR: Chris Kirkland, Kamil Zayatte, Michail Antonio and Jeremy Helan - but Dave Jones feels the team is stronger now.

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