‘Refreshed’ Sheffield Wednesday are eager to get underway

Sheffield Wednesday head coach Jos Luhukay.
Sheffield Wednesday head coach Jos Luhukay.
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HEAD coach Jos Luhukay insists that he has not been left frustrated by Sheffield Wednesday’s inability to sanction any incoming signings so far this summer.

The Owls kick off the new campaign at Wigan tomorrow with the main talking point of the close season surrounding the total lack of newcomers amid reports that the club are running under a transfer embargo for breaching Financial Fair Play rules.

For his part Luhukay is grateful for small mercies in that his squad options are rather more plentiful than during the injury-ravaged early stages of his time in charge, with a number of leading players now back in contention.

The Dutchman also believes that the settled nature of the Owls’ squad, which has been infused by a number of talented young academy products who gained first-team experience in the final months of last season, points to a rosier picture than is suggested.

Wednesday’s promising end to last season backs up his sentiments, as does the fact that 4,500 Wednesdayites will travel across the Pennines to the DW Stadium in renewed hope tomorrow.

On the lack of inward transfer activity Luhukay said: “It is not frustrating. Everyone knows I speak with a lot of respect and confidence in my team. I believe in my team, so that is how it is.

“It can be a positive thing for us. This team have worked together over the last three years. Only Joey Pelupessy came in January. The players know each other. Everyone knows the way we play and what we expect. The competition starts on Saturday and I think we are ready for it.

“We have (also) refreshed the team. We gave eight players away and we bring seven players from the Under-23s, all young players between 19 and 21. That is how we have refreshed the team. We have a couple of injured players back, so we have refreshed things.”

Fit-again Scottish international striker Steven Fletcher will be involved in the club’s first-team squad for the first time since early December tomorrow, although Luhukay says that he will not feature from the start.

The Owls’ head coach commented: “He is in the squad on Saturday, that is no secret. But I think he has been away too long from the team and games for 90 minutes. He has been out of competition for seven months.

“The next step for Steven is to get Championship minutes.”