Sheffield Wednesday: The pressure is on Aston Villa to win, believes Owls winger
Two expensively-assembled Championship teams go head-to-head at Villa Park tomorrow.
But Owls winger Ross Wallace claims the pressure is firmly on Aston Villa to pick up maximum points.
Wednesday take on Steve Bruce’s Villa team seeking to halt a run of six matches without a win on the road in all competitions.
But Villa are unbeaten in their own backyard and sit in fifth position after picking up five victories from their last seven matches.
Wallace told The Star: “Villa are similar to ourselves; they have spent a few quid and are expected to be near the top end come the end of the season.
“It will be a tough game. Villa Park is a great ground and Villa are playing some decent stuff.
“We will be looking to go there and cause them problems. The pressure will be on them. They are at home.
“We need to get the ball on the floor, play our stuff, create chances and look to frustrate them.”
It is the final fixture before the two-week international break and the Owls will be looking to build on the four points accrued at home to Barnsley and Millwall this week.
“We will go there full of confidence after picking up four points from the last two home games,” said Wallace. “We played well in patches against Millwall and hopefully we can take that into Saturday.”
Victory over the Lions lifted some of the gloom around Hillsborough. It was just Wednesday’s second win in their last eight outings.
Wallace said: “It was an important win for the players just to settle us a little bit. We have been a little unsettled in the last few games.
“But we have got the ability to go four or five games unbeaten and pick up wins. It’s important we do that sooner rather than later.
“There is still a lot more to come from us. We have a few levels to go yet.”
If the Owls prevail at Villa for the first time since 2001, Carlos Carvalhal’s men could be just two points adrift of the play-off positions come Saturday evening.
“It’s a crazy league,” conceded Wallace.
“Every team goes through a little tough spell in a season and have a rough patch. Hopefully we have had ours and we can look forward to the rest of the season.”
It will be interesting to see if Carvalhal keeps faith with the same back four. His side have struggled to keep clean sheets all season. Defensively Wednesday looked jittery at times versus Millwall.
Skipper Glenn Loovens stressed: “The clean sheet will come. Sometimes you are just dying for a win and it doesn’t matter how you get it.
“We now have to build on the Millwall result. We have to enjoy it, rest up and then look forward to Villa which will be a totally different game. It is a very tough place to go but it is another game that we have to win.”
Carvalhal made wholesale changes in midweek, handing starts to Liam Palmer, Loovens, Morgan Fox, Jacob Butterfield and Rhodes. His alterations paid off as the Owls returned to winning ways.
Dutch centre-half Loovens said: “It is never easy in this league, especially against a physical team like Millwall.
“But I think the boys who came in did a terrific job and I was happy Jordan [Rhodes] got his goal.
“We know during the season we need the squad because you don’t just make it with 11 players. You need more than that.”