This is the area Sheffield Wednesday are wary of most when Middlesbrough head for Hillsborough

It’s probably become something of a footballing cliche when talking about Tony Pulis’ teams.

Descriptions of the Middlesbrough manager’s style often throw up the words ‘direct’ and ‘physical’.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis. Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis. Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

Sheffield Wednesday would appear to be expecting just that on Friday night when the Championship’s fourth-placed side head for Hillsborough.

Goalkeeper Cameron Dawson knows it’s not going to just be a battle, but is also well aware that he and his defensive colleagues will have to be prepared for an aerial assault. 

To that end, cutting out the conceding of free-kicks in dangerous areas which has been a frustrating habit of late, will be vital.

Sheffield Wednesday keeper Cameron Dawson on Keiren Westwood, getting the nod as number one, clean sheets and his own form ahead of Middlesbrough clash

Owls Manager Jos Luhukay and keeper Cameron Dawson......Pic Steve Ellis

Owls Manager Jos Luhukay and keeper Cameron Dawson......Pic Steve Ellis

"It will be a physical test. It is always is against a Tony Pulis side,” said Dawson. “They have got big lads all across the park. Look at their back four. I don't think there is anyone who is under six foot three!

"They will play football but I think they will be quite direct.

"They are very strong from set pieces so we will have to be careful there. We have given a lot of fouls away recently around our half which we will need to cut out because they will be dangerous from that. It will be a tough test.

"It will be a slightly different test to your ‘total football’ teams like Brentford but it will be good.”

Owls keeper Cameron Dawson

Owls keeper Cameron Dawson

READ MORE

Sheffield Wednesday v Middlesbrough: team news, predicted lineups, form, referee, betting, past clashes and the man to watch

Sheffield Wednesday: Liam Palmer hoping Friday night win over Middlesbrough will pile pressure on rivals