Sheffield Wednesday boss Stuart Gray insists he “expects” his Owls side to beat Blackpool on Boxing Day, after their 4-0 hammering at Fulham last weekend.
The Owls boss is desperate for a reaction after that defeat at Craven Cottage, and is hoping that he gets one against Lee Clark’s Blackpool side, who are rock bottom of the Championship with only two wins all season.
“We have got to win this game,” Gray said.
“Somebody said to me we will be facing a wounded animal but we are a wounded animal. It’s unusal for us to get beaten 4-0 and the manner in which we got beaten was disappointing.
“It’s a must win game for us, and people expect us to win. I expect us to win, too, and the players will be expecting to win.
“We want to put on a good performance but winning the game is the most important thing. Our mindset should be about winning every game we play at home.
“We played Wolves the other week and I know we played well but we didn’t win the game. It’s about winning on your own patch. We were disappointed with the outcome against Fulham. We’ve got to beat Blackpool and then beat Wigan.”
But Gray did sound a note of caution to his side, insisting: “No two games are the same. I would imagine Lee will have them fired up after their heavy home defeat (6-1) to Bournemouth.
“But I am more focused on what we can do. We’ve got to be a bit braver and take more responsibility in the opposition’s box. We have to get it right in both boxes. We have to get a little more self belief and confidence and willingness to get forward more.”
Defender Glenn Loovens will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness ahead of the game. He was withdrawn at Fulham - with the Owls 3-0 down - with a hamstring problem.