Sheffield Wednesday v Cardiff: Bus hopes to follow Petrescu’s footsteps at Owls

Filipe Melo in his first day training with the Owls at Middlewood Road with fellow new signing Sergiu Bus
Filipe Melo in his first day training with the Owls at Middlewood Road with fellow new signing Sergiu Bus
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Romanian striker Sergiu Bus is hoping to follow in the footsteps of countryman Dan Petrescu and become a household name at Sheffield Wednesday.

Full-back Petrescu came to England in 1994 and played for Wednesday in the Premier League.

His performances earned him a big-money move to Chelsea, where he played for five seasons collecting the European Cup-winners’ Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Premier League title along the way at Stamford Bridge

Petrescu then returned to Yorkshire with Bradford City before launching a successful coaching career.

Now Bus – pronounced ‘Bush’ to thwart an inevitable rash of headlines playing on his surname – has joined the Owls, hoping he can emulate Petrescu’s success.

He signed for Wednesday in a reported £375,000 move from Bulgarian side CSKA Sofia on Monday, and the 22-year-old Romania Under-21 striker is keen to get started.

He is in contention for today’s visit of Cardiff City in the Championship, but is coming out of a winter break in Bulgaria.

However, a scoring record of 10 goals in 19 games for CSKA Sofia – since moving to Bulgaria from CFR Cluj in Romania – certainly suggests he is a man in form.

For an Owls team which has scored just seven goals in 14 Hillsborough games in the league this season, that is music to the ears of Wednesday head coach Stuart Gray.

“I am very happy to be here, very confident,” said Bus, who learned English at school in Romania.

“I am the type of striker who searches and runs into spaces, in the box I can handle myself, score even with just half a chance. I can score goals, run a lot.”

Bus, 22, arrived in England last weekend, but has been on a crash-course to familiarise himself with Sheffield – and understanding the Yorkshire accent.

He said: “I spoke with some agents, and every agent I told them I wanted to come to England. It’s my dream, I love the life here, and for a football player it’s the best place to play.

“The contact with Sheffield Wednesday was three or four weeks ago. We spoke, and I just waited with pleasure to come here.

“At first I did not know anything (about Wednesday), until we spoke more seriously.

“But I knew one Romanian player here, a big Romanian player Petrescu.

“I was little when he was here. He was here in the Nineties, so I don’t even know if I was born then.

“He started from here and had a very good career in England. Why can’t I do the same?

“I would like to live my dream here in England.”

Wednesday beat off competition from several other clubs to sign Bus, who will not have to acclimatise to the cold in Yorkshire having arrived from Eastern Europe where temperatures are even harsher than here.

“We had a lot of discussions, with other clubs, but I wanted to come here,” said Bus, who watched online as Wednesday lost to Reading last weekend.

“I came Saturday. The coach told me I could go home and relax, but I said no, I wanted to get used to everything – the temperature – and started to train.

“In Bulgaria, and where I live in Romania, it’s colder. Very cold.

“I was in Italy for pre-season with CSKA Sofia, here it’s a little bit colder than Italy, but for me it’s no problem because I was born in a cold country.”

Bus has signed a three-and-a-half year deal at Hillsborough, and revealed he hopes his Owls form can bring Premier League football to Hillsborough plus a call-up for himself to Romania’s full national side.

“Premier League is the top level that a player can play,” he said. “This year it will be hard to get in the Premier League, but I hope next year we can attack the Championship.

“It’s a big step for my career, and everything depends on me.

“I want to play, enjoy, and only God knows what I achieve here.”

So will Bus play today?

“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s a big difference between where I played in Bulgaria and here.

“Physically I don’t know if I am 100 per cent, but I can help my team. If the manager wants to put me in I will do my best.

“I have been in very good form (this season). I have played 19 games, every minute, so I don’t think it will be hard to get my rhythm back.

“The players have been very nice with me, and it’s a big family. That’s important, because as a new player you need to integrate into the group quickly.

“I think they are good guys. To be honest, I haven’t watched any games, only the last game with Reading, where they played good.

“But in this league, every team can beat anyone. You cannot bet and say ‘we will win that one’. They played good at Reading, but I hope from now on we can play better.”

Gray is hoping to sit down with new owner Dejphon Chansiri once his £30m takeover has been ratified by the Football League.

Up for discussion will be next season’s playing budget – with 15 players understood to be out of contract this summer – plus improvements to the club’s Middlewood Road training ground and Hillsborough, including a new pitch.

“We trained on it the other day and it’s probably one of the worst pitches that I’ve ever had to train on and the players have had to play on,” Gray said.

“It’s there and we have got to get on with it. We have to find a way of beating teams on it. It is frustrating that the opposition only have to play on it once and we have to play on it 23 or 24 times a season.

“The pitch is a priority. It needs sorting out and hopefully that will get done in the summer.”