Sheffield Wednesday: Tom Lees sets Owls target

Tom Lees wants the Owls to be firmly in the Championship promotion hunt heading into the final 10 matches of the campaign.

Tom Lees
Tom Lees

The Owls, last season’s play-off finalists, are well-placed to challenge after garnering 31 points from 19 outings. Carlos Carvalhal’s side currently occupy the final play-off position following Saturday’s battling victory over Preston North End.

Lees told The Star: “The last few weeks people have been saying a lot of things, but now we have back-to-back wins.

“We should have won against Fulham, which was hard to take, but we are building a bit of momentum - into the top six - and we just need to try and keep it going.

“We want to do better; it’s not a case that we are not bothered. We are all professional and want to do well for the club.

“We want to be winning every week, and everyone is working hard.

“We are now back in the top six, and as long as you are in or around that with 10 games to go, anything can happen. That’s what we have to do now.”

The centre-back has warned Wednesday to expect a Reading backlash on Saturday. The Royals were thrashed 5-0 by Fulham last time out.

“It will be a tough game at Reading,” he said. “They took a bit of a thumping (on Saturday), so it will probably be a case of them having a massive reaction at home.”

The Owls will have to make one enforced change to their starting line-up, with Fernando Forestieri to serve a three-match ban. The striker will miss the trip to the Madejski Stadium and the Yorkshire derbies against Barnsley and Rotherham United. His absence means Steven Fletcher and Atdhe Nuhiu are vying to partner Lucas Joao up front.

Lees said: “I’ve got confidence in all our strikers. They are all really good and have different strengths. All of them carry a goal threat.”

Nuhiu bolstered his chances of making his first league start of the season by scoring a hat-trick in Tuesday’s behind-closed-doors victory at Notts County. Almen Abdi also registered.

“Being a centre-half, I know what a handful Attey can be.” said Lees. “On his day, he can be unplayable. He just needs to remember exactly what he has got.

“Players would give their left arm to have the physical attributes he has got.

“He gives us a different attacking option and can complement the players we have up front.”