Laws calls for Owls discipline

Sheffield Wednesday manager Brian Laws has urged his players to battle hard against Manchester City in their FA Cup third round replay but not concede needless free-kicks.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Brian Laws has urged his players to battle hard against Manchester City in their FA Cup third round replay but not concede needless free-kicks.

Laws insists his players have nothing to fear after holding his old team-mate Stuart Pearce’s side to a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough, but is wary of City’s physical threat ahead of the Eastlands clash.

“The main part of their game is set plays,” Laws told PA Sport. “They’re a big side, so we’ve got to make sure we don’t give away too many free-kicks.

“(Darius) Vassell springs to mind as well because of his pace, but they’ve got quality players all over the field.”

Owls striker Steve MacLean quickly cancelled out Georgios Samaras’ 78th-minute penalty in the first meeting and Laws, who played in the same back four as Pearce for Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest, felt his players had bridged any gulf in class.

“We’re full of confidence about going there. We’re not frightened at all,” he said.

“The pressure is all on Manchester City. We know what they are all about and believe the game will be even more open than at Hillsborough.

“They’re the home side and the onus will be on them to chase the game a bit more and that will suit us.”

Laws saw his side’s march up the Coca-Cola Championship table checked at Derby on Saturday when a last-minute goal from David Jones condemned Wednesday to a second successive league defeat.

“It’s ideal that we’ve got the replay so soon after the disappointment of Saturday,” Laws added.

“We didn’t deserve to lose that game against a side in the top two and it shows the progress we’ve made.

“But we can get it out of our system pretty quickly, it won’t drag on all week and we’ll be ready to take the game to Manchester City.”

Laws is waiting on “one or two knocks” but could field an unchanged side.

Madjid Bougherra, a £1.3million transfer target for Charlton, returned to the side at Derby in place of Graham Coughlan.

Fellow defenders Tommy Spurr and Frank Simek received their fifth bookings of the season on Saturday, but are clear to play in the replay and will miss Saturday’s visit of Sunderland instead.

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