Sheffield derby: Sheffield Wednesday urged to embrace underdogs status ahead of Sheffield United showdown

Centre-half Tom Lees insists Sheffield Wednesday head into 131st competitive Sheffield derby as underdogs, despite their improved run of form.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 12:32 pm
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 12:37 pm
Sheffield Wednesday centre-half Tom Lees

The Owls entertain Sheffield United next Monday on the back of a six-match Championship unbeaten run under Steve Bruce, winning three of their six matches in February.

But United are pushing for automatic promotion and have suffered just one defeat in the league since mid-December.

Sheffield Wednesday centre-half Tom Lees

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While Lees, the Wednesday captain, accepts United have out-performed them over the last 18 months, he has rejected the notion that the balance of power has shifted in the Steel City.

He told The Star: "They (United) were in the division below for a while and we have had the success of getting to the play-offs and stuff like that.

"Now they find themselves at the top end of the table and we are not.

"You can't deny that they are probably favourites for this game and have the bragging rights at the moment but we have to concentrate on ourselves.

"We have got our task and things we want to improve. We will give it our best on Monday and do exactly what we have been doing.

"We will give it everything we have got and that's all we can do. We want to win the game and everything else will take care of itself."

More than 30,000 are poised to pack into Hillsborough and Lees hopes the Owls make home advantage count.

"It will be great to have a full-house," he said. "You definitely notice the difference in how they (the fans) are feeling when they are enjoying it. There is a good feel around the ground.

"We have had some good nights at Hillsborough under the lights in the last few years and hopefully we can recreate that on Monday."

Wednesday, dreaming of mounting a late play-off charge, will be searching for a third straight league win for the first time since September when they host high-flying United.

Lees said: "It would be fantastic to win and it would breed confidence going into the rest of the season.

"It would give us a real lift and people would see what we could do then."