Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones has blocked a loan move for Jacques Maghoma as the Owls embark on a hectic run of 10 games in a six-week spell.
The 26-year-old attacking midfielder has struggled to make an impact at Hillsborough since his summer move from League Two side Burton Albion.
His efforts to acclimatise to the Championship were not helped by a pre-season injury, but the Congo international is now pushing for a first-team spot.
Former Tottenham youngster Maghoma has impressed Jones over the last fortnight and is in contention for tomorrow’s lunchtime Yorkshire derby visit of Huddersfield Town.
“Jacques came in from Burton and he was always going to have to adjust to this level,” said Jones.
“He came from Burton and we hoped it was going to click, that would have been nice.
“He found it difficult to begin with, then he got an injury. He then found it difficult to get back to that level.
“Over the last few weeks we have seen a big difference in him and because of that we have had one or two enquiries.
“But we don’t feel that he’s a player that we want to go out (on loan) at this moment in time.”
The Owls have spent the last fortnight licking their wounds after a 3-0 defeat at Derby County.
That came hot on the heels of an impressive 5-2 home victory over Reading – Wednesday’s only win this season so far – and Jones is looking for his players to replicate that Hillsborough display tomorrow.
“We have had a good fortnight, worked really hard,” stressed Jones, whose Owls side sit third from bottom on 11 points, six points adrift of 15th-placed Town.
“After such a good victory against Reading, we were just disappointed (at Derby) to have such a flat day.
“The derby games are always tight, high tempo and take a little bit of time to settle into. It’s going to be a tough game.
“There will be a lot of noise, rivalry, it’s a derby game. There’s an awful lot at stake, not just the points, but the bragging rights.
“We know what we have to do. There’s no magic formula, no hidden secret. We have to be at our best to get a result. We know the situation we are in, we have to get points, and we are more than capable of doing it. The players have got to go out and do it.”
The Owls have three defenders likely to be out tomorrow. Anthony Gardner is ruled out long-term, while Martin Taylor has also been sidelined with an ankle injury.
Kamil Zayatte is rated 50-50 to play, meaning there could be a recall for Miguel Llera at the heart of the rearguard, alongside Roger Johnson.