Sheffield Wednesday: Kieran Lee believes Owls can test the best

Patient: Kieran Lee is in good form for Sheffield Wednesday
Patient: Kieran Lee is in good form for Sheffield Wednesday

THE chance to compete against the best is another spur for Wednesday to beat MK Dons tonight in their FA Cup third round replay at stadiummk says Kieran Lee.

Not that any incentive other than a victory is needed to inspire the Owls, but, as Lee says, the opportunity of a fourth round tie at Premier League sides West Brom or QPR is one that doesn’t come along very often.

He said: “First of all we have to beat MK. Looking ahead knowing we’d be playing a Premiership team is great.

“Some of the lads have probably not done it before so we’d be looking forward to it. Hopefully we can do it.

“Last year I played against Liverpool for Oldham (in the FA Cup third round). You really enjoy it, you want to play against the best so it’s an incentive for everyone to do well.

“But it’s just a game of football at the end of the day so you just have to play your own game. Hopefully we can get through and then we can plan the next one.”

The Championship has proven to be a big step up for Wednesday from League One. Slowly but surely they’re beginning to the find their feet as their excellent 3-1 win at promotion chasing Hull City on Saturday proved.

Lee said: “It was good all round for the team. It’s (the KC Stadium) a tough place to go but we just worked hard and everyone put in a good performance. Obviously we’re happy to get the win.”

The result may have shocked some in the wider football community but Lee said inside the Wednesday dressing room the feeling was one of satisfaction at a job done well. “We always believe in ourselves and we knew going into it we had a chance to win, so it wouldn’t say I was surprised,” he explained.

“Everyone expected us to lose but we believe we could win and we have.”

Lee is an example of players remaining patient. He struggled to make an impact when he first moved from Oldham to Hillsborough in the summer but continued to work hard following injury.

Giles Coke and David Prutton are others who have come into the team after being seemingly out of the picture.

Lee said it’s up to the players to earn their shirts every week: “It’s a big squad and we’re going to use all the squad. Everyone’s going to get their chance. Once you get a couple of games you have to perform. You know when you come in you have to do your stuff. That’s the challenge for the lads.

“I knew it would take time to settle in and finally I’m beginning to get a little run in the team and we’re beginning to pick up.”

Teams and ref

OWLS (possible): Bywater, Buxton, Taylor, Llera, Mattock, Lee, Coke, Semedo, Antonio, Sidibe, Madine or O’Grady (4-4-2).

MK DONS (possible): Martin, Otsemobor, Lewington, McKenzie, Williams, Powell, Potter, Harley, Bowditch, Lowe, Smith (4-4-2).

Lee Collins (Surrey): Collins has been busy in recent weeks with four sendings-off in his last six matches. He hasn’t taken charge of a Wednesday game this season but was the man for MK’s 3-2 defeat at Brentford on December 8, 2012.

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