SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY defender Joe Mattock is expecting a major backlash from Leeds United in this weekend’s eagerly-awaited derby clash.
When the two White Rose rivals last met, the Owls romped to a 6-0 victory at Hillsborough that left United humiliated in front of the live Sky cameras.
Saturday’s lunchtime meeting, which is again to be shown live by the satellite broadcaster, offers a chance of redemption for Leeds but Mattock insists Wednesday will be up to the challenge.
The 24-year-old, an ever present in Wednesday’s 13 league and Cup games this term, said: “We are definitely looking forward to Saturday. The atmosphere is going to be unbelievable. We will be well up for it and, hopefully, we can get the win.
“Hopefully, it can be a similar outcome to when we last played Leeds. We want the three points for the fans but there will be a backlash from Leeds. It was a bit of an embarrassment for them.
“But they will be out of the traps at us. They have done well this year, too. They have a strong side so will be up for it. But so will we.”
Wednesday go into the weekend derby clash on the back of a battling 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town.
It was a result that left Stuart Gray’s side within touching distance of the play-offs, a welcome turn of events for a club that has finished in the top 10 of the Championship just once in the past decade.
Wednesday’s elevated standing is fully merited, too, with Gray having built a hard-working side that has only been beaten twice in the opening 10 games of the season.
Mattock added: “The only way is up for me and the rest of the team. I am in no doubt we can build on this good start and keep pushing on. We don’t want to be in the bottom half of the table, I don’t think that is us this year at all.
“We have a strong enough side to be in the top six.
“We were disappointed not to get the three points (against Ipswich) but there were positives and we move on to the next game. Maybe in games to come we will get the rub of the green that we didn’t have against Ipswich.
“This is a strong group and we have a big game ahead of us. There is no doubt we can go there and get the three points.”