Glenn Loovens: Wednesday ready for the Premier League

Date published: Saturday 13th May 2017 3:25

sheffield wednesday celebrate 2
Glenn Loovens believes Sheffield Wednesday are ready to make the step up to the Premier League as they prepare for their Championship play-off semi-final clash at Huddersfield.

The Owls suffered play-off final heartache last season after they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Hull, courtesy of a stunning long-range strike from Mohamed Diame to earn the Tigers a place in the top flight.

Wednesday responded to the extra expectation on their shoulders this season to finish in fourth place and secure another play-off berth, where they take on their Yorkshire rivals over two legs for a place in the Wembley final on May 29.

And Loovens, who has two caps for Holland and also played in the Old Firm derby and played against Manchester United in the Champions League during his spell at Celtic – believes playing in last season’s final was the biggest match of his career.

He said: “We all know Sheffield Wednesday is a big club and has a massive support so there is only one place where everyone involved with Sheffield Wednesday wants to go and that is the Premier League.

“Everyone knows it is probably one of the biggest games you can play – in terms of commercial wise for the club with the money that is involved – and is probably one of the biggest games I have played in.

“The chairman invested heavily in the squad and I think if you see this year, the squad has improved a lot. In that aspect, we have grown as a squad but also as a club as well. If you see what the chairman is doing with the training ground, he is improving everything he can.

“We are taking it step-by-step, the club needed an update which the chairman has done and we are now ready to go up.”

The Owls fielded a much-weakened line-up in their 2-1 defeat to fellow play-off hopefuls Fulham on the final day of the season to end a six-match winning run.

They take on a Terriers side who they have not lost to in their last seven league encounters, which includes Carlos Carvalhal’s side winning the last four but captain Loovens believes it will a tougher test this time around.

“They (Huddersfield) have done superbly this season,” he said.

“They like to play with the ball and score goals, we have played them four times in the last two years so we know what to expect. They are a good team.

“I think the momentum is with us because we have done so well lately but we have to be focused and treat it like another game and everyone should be confident going into this game.”

It is the 150-year anniversary since the inception of the club and the 33-year-old believes it would be a fitting way to end their 17-year absence from the Premier League and correct last season’s defeat at Wembley.

“It would make things more special for us. Everyone was really disappointed last year and we just want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. We worked so hard in the last couple of years to achieve this and we have to go all the way now.

“We created (the expectations) ourselves by doing so well last year and everyone expected us to do the same, maybe better but pressure comes with football and you have to deal with it.

“The pressure is on all four teams and all four teams want the same thing so pressure is there but that comes with playing this kind of game. We know what is at stake and for every team, it is the same thing.”

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