Sheffield Wednesday: Llera puts Leeds in his sights

Goal-bound: Miguel Llera's free kick is on its way to the Millwall net as the Owls set a course for a 2-1 victory. Picture: Steve ellis
Goal-bound: Miguel Llera's free kick is on its way to the Millwall net as the Owls set a course for a 2-1 victory. Picture: Steve ellis

MIGUEL Llera heads for Leeds tomorrow with happy memories of another Yorkshire derby away day.

At Huddersfield last season he scored his first goal for Wednesday with a stunning long-range free kick.

It was the first but not the last demonstration of his expertise at set pieces - whether it has been shooting from free kicks or taking inswinging corners.

Dave Jones, however, had a light-hearted dig at the centre half recently because it was a long time since he he’d hit the net using that trusty left foot.

But Llera, whose goal at Huddersfield sent the Owls on the way to a momentous 2-0 victory against promotion rivals, produced the goods at Millwall and helped his team to take a big step towards safety.

“It was a good goal from Miguel,” reflects Jones. “It probably took that goal to settle us down.”

Llera may well be seen at least taking right-side corners at Elland Road.

Danny Pugh sometimes has the job, and it was he who made Chris Maguire’s winner at the New Den with an inswinging corner, but the left back is ineligible tomorrow as he is on loan from Leeds.

Jones’ main expectations from his defenders, however, will centre on the need to avoid conceding unnecessary goals: the manager was displeased with Blackburn’s two at Hillsborough last week, with their penalty resulting from a simple ball over the top, and the second coming via a free header at the far post.

At Millwall, the Owls were caught cold in the second minute, unable to stop a cross coming in and leaving the scorer unmarked.

Llera’s goal was his sixth of the season and his first since the 2-2 home draw with Derby on February 9.

His shot against Millwall could be pretty accurately measured, as the edge of the D is 22 yards from goal; the defensive wall was around a yard inside the D, and the free kick 10 yards away from the wall.

Some observers - chief those with allegiance to the Lions - felt that keeper David Forde should have saved the shot. But it was just inside the post and bounced wickedly as he dived and seemed to go over his outstretched arms.

Tuesday’s 2-1 victory meant the Owls have won three and drawn one of the four games since they lost Michail Antonio.

There were concerns about the team’s firepower being affected by his injury. But the Owls have scored eight goals in those four games.