Reach stunners decorate creditable Sheff Wed start - Interview
Tuesday, 23rd Oct 2018 09:49 by Clive Whittingham
Little was known of Sheff Wed manager Jos Luhukay when he arrived last season, but having taken over a squad beset by injuries and a transfer embargo he’s gone about his work adeptly says Paul Woolfson from the London Owls.
How would you assess Wednesday’s start to the season?
We have not been particularly convincing on the pitch but we've been picking up picking up points here and there. We had a fairly tricky run of games leading into the international break so to find ourselves in a play-off spot is probably more than anyone probably expected at this stage. However, we are a bit lightweight in defence and we've yet to keep a clean sheet so far this season which is becoming a bit of a cause for concern. Although the law of averages says we must be due one fairly soon.
Jos Luhukay was a relative unknown when he arrived, what sort of job has he done so far?
Given the fact when he arrived we had a ridiculous amount of long term injuries, very little money available for transfers and a subsequent transfer embargo he's doing ok. I suppose the two main things of note are that players fitness levels are much greater than they were under Carlos Carvalhal and that was a big problem for us last season. Also, he's not been afraid to give some of our youth players an opportunity either. Admittedly, his hand had been forced somewhat in that respect but some have shown they are more than capable of playing at this level and he's stuck by them. We are in a transitional period at the moment and if we finish the season in mid-table he'll have earned his money.
It must be something they're feeding him at the training ground. He's always had the potential to deliver but this is the first time he is showing it on a consistent basis. In the early days he often played at left back or left wing back which maybe the reason as to why we are only seeing the best of him now as he's playing in a much more offensive role. He's always popped up with spectacular goals. He doesn't do tap ins! The last three have all been in fairly quick succession and were all on Sky so he's been getting quite a bit of focus.
Stand out players and weak links in the side?
I'd say Barry Bannan and Adam Reach have been the two stand out players so far. We've also got a couple of very decent youngsters in Jordan Thorniley and Matt Penney coming through the ranks who've have been holding down a regular place in the side. Weak links - I'd say Joey Pelupessy. For me he's not physical enough and gives the ball away far too often.
Can a promotion push be sustained?
If we keep picking up points then there is always an outside chance of nicking a play-off spot, especially with this league being as tight as it is. Never say never but I think mid-table is a more realistic aim this season.
Given there was already a defacto transfer embargo in the summer, what are the FFP consequences if the club continues to remain at this level given its outlay over the past few seasons?
The club have remained very tight lipped over the embargo. None of us knew we were in an embargo until just before the season started even though it had been in place since April. And even now I'm not sure what restrictions may or may not be in place. If the club remain in the Championship then I would expect to see those high wage earners who are out of contract leave the club and we may be forced to sell as well.
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