SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Lee Grant out to keep it clean as he faces former club

Former Owls keeper: Lee Grant
Former Owls keeper: Lee Grant
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WHEN Lee Grant faces Wednesday tonight for the first time since his departure to Burnley he will have much the same aim as Chris Kirkland at the other end: a clean sheet.

For the number of goals conceded has been a concern for both the Owls and the Clarets.

Dave Jones’s side have let in 21 in 11 league and cup games, Eddie Howe’s 20 in 11.

Basic errors were Wednesday’s most costly flaw but they avoided those at Wolves last Saturday, though they lost 1-0.

Jones takes heart from the way his team defended and hopes that they can carry on in similar vein at Turf Moor tonight.

“We were more solid. They didn’t break through our lines.

“We still have to look at what we do going forward - we had chances at Molineux,” he said.

“Now we have to take that into a game against another side who not long ago were in the Premier League.

“You can’t worry about this and that - why worry, when you look at the performance at Wolves? We have to add to that and grow from it.”

Jones is aware of Burnley’s qualities and the fact that in 11-goal Charlie Austin they have the country’s top scorer. Austin’s signing from Swindon in January last year cost a fee of £1.2 million, possibly rising to £2m with add-ons.

Wolves had two £3m wingers last Saturday, plus a £6.5m striker, Kevin Doyle.

The Owls boss said: “It’s something we’re going to come across week in week out. That’s the status of this division.

“Three years ago you didn’t really get £3m players coming into it. Now it’s normality. A lot of the clubs are spending big. That’s what you’re up against.

“Teams are spending an awful lot of money to try to get out of the division. Some have spent an awful lot and won’t get out.

“It’s not as if we’ve been pelted all over the place this season. It just starts with us getting a break, and you have to get your settled team together, which we haven’t been able to do because of injuries, and then you become hardened to this division.

“Our lads are all right. They’re digging in. They know they have to. They’re a great bunch of lads. I believed on Saturday that we were going to score. I feel for them, but you can’t feel sorry for them all the time. We’ve made mistakes this season that last season we would have got away with.”

Burnley could be strengthened by the return after injury of £1m former Barnsley centre-half Jason Shackell.

Keeper Grant, who played 145 games in his distinguished three-year spell with Wednesday, is a regular in the side and has made 88 appearance since his Hillsborough exit in the summer of 2010.

The fee of around £750,000 plus add-ons helped the Owls to stave off a winding-up order when they were striving to keep their heads above the financial water.

But tonight Wednesday fans are not likely to get the opportunity of giving a warm reception to another Hillsborough success, Keith Treacy.

Last season’s loan winger, though he was a Dave Jones target early in the summer, is not holding down a place in Howe’s team and has made only two appearances.

Jones’ views about the tightness of the division are echoed by Burnley assistant manager Jason Tindall.

He said: “This division is all about small margins and the decisions that go for you or against you. We say time and again it’s an unforgiving league and no result seems to surprise you in this division.

“Any team is capable of achieving and pulling off a result.

“Sheffield Wednesday come here on the back of a poor run. They had a fantastic start to the campaign, though, so we know they are a dangerous side, capable of scoring goals.”