Sheffield Wednesday: We’ll take confidence from ‘Fortress Hillsborough’ says Loovens

Owls skipper Glenn Loovens

Owls skipper Glenn Loovens

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The home of Sheffield Wednesday has been a formidable place to travel for opposition teams this season.

Only two sides – Middlesbrough and Rotherham United – have taken all three points from Hillsborough so far this term.

That record has been bettered by Wednesday only once in the last 20 years – when they finished seventh in the Premier League after losing just a single home game. And it was matched when they won promotion from League One four years ago.

Wednesday close their regular season home campaign today and maintaining such a record will book their place in the play-offs.

Avoiding defeat against seventh placed Cardiff City this afternoon will secure a top six place.

Skipper Glenn Loovens says the Owls’ home record means they will head into the high-stakes clash with plenty of confidence that they will get the job done in the penultimate game of the season.

“We should feel confident,” he said.

“I know the results have not gone so well lately but our style of football has been good.

“We have got to be positive and hopefully we will pick up a positive result.”

The pressure may be greater than normal in this afternoon’s game given the stakes, but Loovens insists Wednesday have prepared in their regular manner for the fixture.

He said: “There’s a bit of extra pressure on this game but we have to treat it like a normal game and make sure we do the basics well.

“We have prepared like any other game. We go to get the three points.

“If it plays out not to be the win, we make sure we do not lose.”

Today’s game is sold out for Wednesdayites with the club unable to gain permission to use the lower tier of the Leppings Lane end for home supporters.

The attendance is guaranteed to be the highest league crowd of the season at Hillsborough.

And Loovens believes having the backing of more than 30,000 supporters will be a huge boost.

“The more the merrier,” he said.

“Hopefully we can make it a good day altogether for the fans and everybody involved.”

It was a sentiment echoed by head coach Carlos Carvalhal, who believes the massive home support can give his side the edge.

Carvalhal said: “If you play with a crowded environment and the energy which comes from the outside is positive, it is good to our team.

“If we were doing the opposite and going to Cardiff, it would be a threat.

“We have our fans with us. We are in this together.”