LEE BULLEN is confident that new Sheffield Wednesday head coach Jos Luhukay will prosper at Hillsborough despite being “thrown in at the deep end” after being handed the Owls’ reins.
After watching Saturday’s 0-0 FA Cup draw at Carlisle United from the stands, the Dutchman, 54, will begin work on the training ground today with just four full days to prepare ahead of Friday’s Steel City derby at Sheffield United.
Despite Luhukay being afforded limited time to get to know the Owls players before a huge game in the club’s season, former interim boss Bullen is backing him to get his message across. He said: “He has only got four or five days to work with the players before what many of the Sheffield supporters – no matter what side you are on – feel is the biggest game of the season.
“I think that is his hardest thing, using that short space of time to put across the points he wants to get across. But he has got intelligent footballers in there and hopefully they can grasp it very, very quickly.
“He has been thrown in the deep end and I am sure he will come out swimming, no problem at all. I will help him ... and we will get them wound up for it. Certainly, the players will be told (about Friday’s importance).”
The left-field appointment of Luhukay, who has previously only coached in Germany with the likes of Borussia Monchengladbach, FC Augsburg and Hertha Berlin, represents a gamble, but Bullen sees no reason why he cannot make an immediate impact, much as his predecessor Carlos Carvalhal did in his first season at the club.
Bullen added: “His pedigree in regard to getting from the Championship to Premier League level in Germany is very, very good. Has he got experience in English football? No, but I am sure he watches a heck of a lot of it. Did Carlos? No, but Carlos hit the post a couple of times in trying to get us promoted.
“He [Luhukay] is very enthusiastic and really excited about the opportunity. It is great for us and our education.
“There is absolutely no reason why he cannot be a success. Yes, some (foreign coaches) have come over and not grasped it. But I think football has become a lot smaller planet nowadays, the amount of software you can get and keep up to date with.
“In any league on the planet, you can watch virtually any game live. So, don’t think he is coming over here with his eyes closed and no experience of watching the modern game in England, and even the Championship, lower down.”
Bullen will stay on to assist Luhukay, initially on a short-term basis. The Scot added: “He spoke to me and seemed a lovely guy on the phone. He has assured me I will be part of the team, short term – hopefully longer term, which is great from my point of view, and Andy Rhodes and the rest of the guys who have been helping out. I know he has got one assistant with him. That might change further down the line once he has assessed what is available to him.”