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Clarke: Why Owls will be difficult

30 January 2015

Boss wary of Wednesday threat

Royals boss Steve Clarke says Sheffield Wednesday pose a difficult test for his team because of their excellent away record.

The Owls have only lost twice on the road all season - the best record in the SkyBet Championship - and have conceded just 11 on their travels, the joint-lowest with League leaders Bournemouth.

This weekend's opponents have only suffered one away League defeat since September and Clarke said, "They have got one of the best away records in the Championship, so we expect a difficult game.

"They're a team that's obviously suited to playing away from home, I would imagine they'll sit in, defend well and look to cause us problems on the counter attack and from set plays. A big challenge for us but one we look forward to."

It was put to the manager that a couple of positive results would see the Royals climb up the League and begin to look upwards, and he responded, "Everyone says that about the Championship, [that you can move up the table quickly], I'm more concerned with putting some distance between us and the bottom three.

"If we can finish with a win and a good performance it'd be a good week. In recent weeks the supporters have been willing us on, they're desperate for us to hit form and they want to help us to get the win this weekend."

The boss confirmed that Chris Gunter, Danny Guthrie, Anton Ferdinand and Hope Akpan are all out through injury, while Dominic Samuel has been loaned to Coventry.

For Wednesday, Sam Hutchinson is back from suspension, while Joe Mattock and Lewis Buxton could also be in contention. Will Keane and Lewis Baker have signed on loan and will be in Stuart Gray's thoughts.

Tickets for the game are on sale now and cheaper in advance - click here for more information.

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