Sami Hyypia used to get butterflies when he played for Liverpool.

He will be even more nervous when he takes charge of Albion in a competitive fixture for the first time at the Amex tomorrow.

Sheffield Wednesday's visit on the opening weekend of the Championship marks the proper start of the Hyypia era after the phoney war of friendlies.

The giant Finn is not entirely new to management, of course, following his spell at Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.

But he admits the heart will be beating that little bit quicker, even than when he was preparing for big games at Anfield.

Hyypia told The Argus: "I was always nervous as a player. I think nervousness is good. At least it was for me.

"I got more out of myself when I was nervous. I was thinking at a later stage in my career that when the nervousness is gone then I will stop.

"I wouldn't care any more what was going to happen in the game if I wasn't nervous.

"That's a normal thing. With this profession I think, when you are on the other side (manager), I am more nervous because the influence I have during a game is a bit different.

"I don't have that much influence on the way the game is going. When I am a player on the pitch I can influence the game more than standing on the side.

"In that way maybe the nervousness now is a little bit more but I'm usually quite a calm person."

That calmness will be put to the test throughout the 90 minutes tomorrow unless Hyypia's side have the points in the bag.

"As a player the nervousness went when the referee whistled for the game to start," he said.

"But as a manager or coach I think it stays a little bit longer. It stays until we are in the 89th minute and we are leading 2-0. Then I can be calm!"

The clash against the Owls will be the first time the majority of Albion fans see Hyypia at work.

The crowd was around 7,000 for last week's only home friendly against Southampton but well over 20,000 will pack into the stadium tomorrow.

They are unlikely to witness a repeat of the scenes in the first ever competitive game at the Amex against Doncaster Rovers three years ago, when Gus Poyet was sent to the stands.

Hyypia insists his much quieter and less visible style in the technical area should not be mistaken for a lack of passion.

He said: "Every situation you will see this season and what you have seen already it's me, I can't be anybody else and I don't try to be anybody else.

"I have a lot of passion for the game. Sometimes people judge that you can't be passionate when sitting there calmly, what ever happens on the pitch.

"But I have a lot of passion in the game. I don't need to show that passion by jumping up and down for 90 minutes on the sidelines.

"That's how I am. When I see something on the pitch that I need to stand up and shout to the players about or give advice then I'll do it but I don't think you will see that a lot this season.

"Hopefully the players are doing the right things on the pitch so I don't need to stand up."