Why a trip to promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough should hold no fears for Sheffield Wednesday
Caretaker boss Lee Bullen insists Sheffield Wednesday have nothing to fear when they face high-flying Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium today.
The Owls, who are expected to appoint Steve Bruce as their new manager this week, travel to Teeside seeking back-to-back Championship wins for the first time since September.
But Boro are one of the best sides in the league. Tony Pulis's side, who have the best defensive record in the division, are currently fourth in the league, eight points adrift of the automatic promotion places.
Bullen, who led Wednesday to a 1-0 victory over Preston North End last weekend, told The Star:Â "We will 100 hundred per cent respect Middlesbrough when we go up there but we won't fear them.'
Bullen expects Boro to be there or thereabouts in the battle to go up.
"Potentially they could go automatic but minimum I would expect them to be looking at the play-offs,' said Bullen.
"Considering the players they have signed - the experience they've signed - I think they'd be disappointed if they didn't get to that level.
"They are the teams that we want to be challenging against and we have got to use that as motivation. We know we are well off (them) at the moment but we have to use it as inspiration and look to challenge that kind of team.'
Thirteen places and 12 points separate the two sides in the table.
Bullen said: 'You can never play any game as if you have nothing to lose, especially with the run of results we've been on.
"On paper, everybody expects Middlesbrough to beat Wednesday looking at our form and looking at their squad.Â For most it would be a home win.
"But there's never any free hits in this league and we will never ever look at it from that point of view either.'