Sheffield Wednesday v Notts County: Bennett knuckles down for County’s boo-boys

JULIAN BENNETT is expecting to be a target for the Notts County boo-boys today at Hillsborough.

The Nottingham-born full-back and Forest fan spent five years with County’s arch-rivals before he moved to Hillsborough this summer.

“I will probably get some stick from County fans, I don’t think I will be in their hearts,” he said. “But, to be honest, it doesn’t really bother me.

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“Notts County will be a difficult game, coming to Hillsborough will be like their Cup final. It’s like our last two away games, we took more fans on Tuesday night than there were Bury fans. Everyone plays out of their skin against us.”

The Owls have suffered successive defeats on their travels, at Bournemouth and Bury, after Hillsborough wins against Rochdale and then Blackpool in the Carling Cup.

“All the boys are ready for Saturday, we have knuckled down in training,” said 26-year-old Bennett. “We did well in pre-season and the first home game of the season, the fans were quality.

“Three wins out of three would have been ideal, we lost those two away games, which wasn’t very good, but it’s a long season. With the quality of players we have, it’s about getting the momentum going.

“On Tuesday night there was a lot of long ball and in this league that can fall into the opposition’s favour. Against Rochdale, we passed it around and we are better when we do that.”

Owls manager Gary Megson also feels the Owls were the victims of a poor refereeing decision after two ‘goals’ at Gigg Lane were wiped out.

“The daft thing is we lost 2-1 at Bury, but having Reda Johnson’s ‘goal’ chalked off was an absolute crime,” said Megson, who looks set to hand a debut to winger Ben Marshall, a loan signing from Stoke City.

“At the time, we thought he must have had his hand up, but all he did was jump and head the ball into the net. The goalkeeper wasn’t as big as Reda and couldn’t jump as high but he has then fallen into a heap but it wasn’t even close to being a foul.

“It went against us, Gary Madine’s ‘goal’ was offside, but we became a one-trick pony which was smash the ball straight up to Madine and hope something would drop for us.

“We didn’t pass, play, or try to get the ball down on a regular basis.”