Sheffield Wednesday: Owls skipper Glenn Loovens wary of Preston North End threat

Glenn Loovens
Glenn Loovens
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Captain Glenn Loovens fears Wednesday will be facing a Preston North End side on a mission at Deepdale.

Carlos Carvalhal’s troops go to Lancashire on Saturday aiming to end 2016 on a positive note.

But the Lilywhites, managed by ex-Wednesday loanee Simon Grayson, will be aiming to make amends following their 4-1 home thumping to Leeds United on Boxing Day. Marnick Vermijl bagged a consolation for Preston but striker Jermaine Beckford was sent off midway through the second half. Beckford was also red carded after scrapping with his own teammate Eoin Doyle in their defeat at Hillsborough earlier this month.

Loovens told The Star: “I expect a tough game against Preston. They lost 4-1 on Boxing Day so will be looking to bounce back. That result makes our job even harder.

“But there are no easy games in this league. We have seen that many times before where we have played a side near the bottom of the league and not won so we don’t take any game lightly.

“What we have to do is focus on ourselves and make sure we do the right things.”

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The Dutchman handed the Owls a belated Christmas present, scoring the only goal in their superb victory at Newcastle United, who were knocked off the top of the table by Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday.

It was Loovens maiden Wednesday goal and the first time he had got on the scoresheet since April 2012.

He quipped: “I like to keep my goals for special occasions! It was nice to score and get the winner. The team really needed it.

“It been a long time coming but well worth the wait.

“Their goalkeeper pulled off a great save from Tom Lees and luckily for me, Nando [Fernando Forestieri] headed it back across and the ball landed right in front of my head.

“I was a bit unsure what to do when I scored because it doesn’t happen too often!”

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Although he was pleased to end his long goal drought, Loovens admits he took greater pleasure from helping the Owls secure a third consecutive clean sheet.

The former Celtic and Cardiff City defender said: “It was nice to score but I was more happy with the clean sheet. I get more joy from that.

“We’re very pleased with how we have done defensively in the last three games. We are so well-organised at the minute as a team.

“We defend from the front and the strikers are doing so much work which helps us out massively. The credit has to go to the whole team.”

Victory for Wednesday kept them in the final play-off berth, nine points shy of the top-two positions.

Loovens added: “It was a great start to the festive period but we can’t dwell too long on the Newcastle result.”

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