Sheffield Wednesday skipper Glenn Loovens says the Owls can welcome Newcastle United to Hillsborough on Saturday with firm belief they can do the double over Rafa Benitez’s men.
Four points from two potentially tricky matches against South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley and Rotherham United can’t be seen as the worst return, but the latter, along with Derby’s victory over Fulham, at least helped Wednesday back into the top six.
The Owls can’t claim to have played well in either of the last two games, but what they can look to, is their best display of this campaign, coming against Newcastle on Boxing Day when Carlos Carvalhal tactically out-thought Benitez as Wednesday secured a 1-0 win at St James’ Park.
Loovens, who scored the only goal of the game that night in the north east, says morale is now high in the Hillsborough camp and playing at home will bring them a huge lift in the final run-in towards securing a top six spot.
“Playing four of the last six at Hillsborough is good,” he said.
“We like playing at home, as our fans are fully behind us on a good and big pitch.
“We expect four good games.
“I wouldn’t say we have a point to prove at home because we have played some good stuff.
“Sometimes you don’t always get what you deserve, look at Burton and reading for the number of chances we created.
“There were a lot of them so, in that respect, we didn’t play badly.
“We got the clean sheet at Rotherham, scored some goals and now we move on to the next game with confidence.”
He added: “It was a good memory for me. My last - and only! - goal for Sheffield Wednesday. It is always going to be a good game against Newcastle and I am expecting a good game against them.
“I don’t think they will think about Boxing Day. They are experienced players enough. It is going to be a good game, we always want to play against good teams in front of big crowds. Everyone will enjoy Rotherham but the focus is now on Saturday.”
One player who could be key for Wednesday against Newcastle is Steven Fletcher.
The striker has found a place on the starting line-up hard to come by of late, but he made a return against the Millers, scoring twice and Loovens says that contribution proves the Owls strength in depth will be vital in the coming weeks.
He said: “The last time Steven Fletcher played was in January so to come on and score two vital goal shows how important everyone in this squad is for this club.”