Tom Lees issues Sheffield Wednesday rallying cry ahead of Yorkshire derby with Leeds United

Skipper Tom Lees believes the Owls can fire out a warning to the rest of the Championship by beating leaders Leeds United tonight.

Wednesday will be searching for their fifth league win in seven matches when they welcome the Whites to Hillsborough.

Victory over their Yorkshire neighbours would lift the Owls into the play-off positions for the first time this season.

Lees said: "The way we start is usually slowly and we are always chasing. It would be quite nice to, in this part of the year, not give anyone too much of a head-start and say to everyone: 'yes, we are in the mix.' Hopefully, we can then stay in the position for the rest of the season."

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Saturday's impressive triumph at Aston Villa moved Wednesday up to 10th, just two points shy of the top-six.

"I cannot remember being around these positions this early," added Lees, who is looking forward to lining up against former club Leeds. "It is a weird feeling to say that if we win, we will be in the play-offs because if you look at this season, we have had some really bad losses as well, which is quite surprising.

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"If you step back and you at it as a whole, then the start has not been too bad. When you are players, you pride yourself on performances and not just points. You think about those bad performances a lot more."

The Owls are boosted by the return of Jordan Thorniley from a calf problem and Fernando Forestieri, who is available for selection after serving a three-match suspension.

Wednesday defender Tom Lees

Wednesday defender Tom Lees

Jos Luhukay, the Wednesday manager, said: "It must be the drive and also the ambition (to go into the top six) and we must see the passion for that.

"What the team has done in the last games, they have shown the passion and ambition. Against Leeds, we must try again. Let's see how we perform.

"We will try to bring our own philosophy and how we like to play. Leeds must decide what is best for them but in the end we will see which team is the strongest to win the game."

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