Sheffield Wednesday: Skipper Tom Lees says Owls need to deal with expectation of playing against “smaller teams”

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Tom Lees says Sheffield Wednesday need to get back on track and deal with the pressure of being at home to so-called smaller teams.

The Owls' skipper believes that Wednesday have struggled against teams they are expected to beat in the past, including this weekend's opponents Rotherham United.

Owls skipper Tom Lees........Pic Steve Ellis

Owls skipper Tom Lees........Pic Steve Ellis

The Millers recorded a shock victory at Hillsborough in the 2015-16 campaign.

That 1-0 success for the Millers was achieved despite Wednesday enjoying nearly two-thirds of possession that day.

Indeed the visitors only mustered two shots on target but one of those, a Matt Derbyshire tap-in, was enough to seal the three points for the visitors that day.

Lees says Wednesday tend to struggle when the expectation is on them at Hillsborough.

Owls skipper Tom Lees stops Rovers Bradley Dack.......Pic Steve Ellis

Owls skipper Tom Lees stops Rovers Bradley Dack.......Pic Steve Ellis

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He also pointed out the 3-0 collapse to Burton Albion earlier this year - a result that stood out as particularly poor in what turned out to be a forgettable season for the club.

Looking ahead to the Millers clash, Lees says he and his colleagues need to start putting in grittier performances like the recent 1-0 success over Bolton.

Wednesday put on a thoroughly unconvincing showing against the Trotters but got the job done thanks to a header from Lees. 

Lees wants Wednesday, especially given their current poor run of form, to swat aside the Millers and do it by earning just a third clean sheet of the season.

Lees said: "These are the games we have found hard over the last couple of seasons - against the likes of Burton at home, Millwall and Rotherham. 

"Those games in previous seasons are the ones that we have found difficult.

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"If you look at the games which we have got the clean sheets, it has not been pretty and good football or particularly good performances. 

"You have got to weigh it up really, but sometimes, you cannot have everything."

With just one win in their last eight outings, Lees is acutely aware that the Owls have to start picking up points if they are to avoid a relegation scrap.

They are currently just five points above the drop zone and following the Millers clash, they have three away trips to Swansea, Middlesbrough and West Bromwich sandwiching a home game against Preston as the busy festive season kicks in.

"Looking at the fixtures now, there has got to be some winnable games for us," added Lees. 

"Then after Christmas it is back to some tough opponents."