Sheffield Wednesday: Excited Maghoma seeks change in Owls fortune

Doncaster Rovers' Marc De Val Fernandez battles with Sheffield Wednesday's Jacques Maghoma. Picture: Andrew Roe
Doncaster Rovers' Marc De Val Fernandez battles with Sheffield Wednesday's Jacques Maghoma. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Football is full of superstitions - and Owls forward Jacques Maghoma hopes changing his squad number will transform his fortunes at Hillsborough.

The former Tottenham Hotspurs trainee wore No.10 during the 2013/14 campaign, hitting three goals in 30 appearances.

But ‘Maghoma 19’ will be emblazoned on the back of the 26-year-old’s jersey this season, with 10 having been allocated to Chris Maguire.

“I asked for number 19 as that’s the number I’ve had on the whole for the last five to six years,” he told The Star. “It’s a number I really like so I wanted to get it back.

“I did really well at Burton wearing that number so hopefully it is my lucky number and it will be a good omen for me.”

Big things were expected of Maghoma after he moved to Wednesday from Burton Albion last summer. He notched 18 goals for the Brewers and was named in the League Two Team of the Year.

However, Maghoma’s progress was derailed by an injury he picked up in a pre-season friendly at Stockport County.

He admitted: “I was unlucky to get injured against Stockport and I missed out on four to five weeks of pre-season training and that is vital. I was playing catch up all the time to get fit.”

Just as Maghoma was beginning to hit top form, he suffered a fresh injury in the defeat at Wigan Athletic last March.

“It was unfortunate what happened at Wigan as I felt like I was starting to play my best football,” said Maghoma.

With his injury troubles now behind him, the DR Congo international is looking forward to the new season, starting at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

He said: “Everyone is excited. We’ve worked hard and everybody can’t wait for the first game. We’ve got a tight knit group and a good bunch of lads.

“Pre-season is now over so everybody has got their base of fitness. I don’t think anyone particularly likes pre-season but it is important you get it under your belt. I’ve got through all the games and I’ve not missed a single training session so I feel good.”

Maghoma is ready to embark on his second season in the Championship, claiming last term was a “learning curve” for him.

“I know there is an awful lot more to come from me,” said Maghoma. “It was a learning curve for me last year playing against better players.

“When I started to get more game time around December, I felt like I started to come to show what I could do week in, week out. Now I’ve got a lot more experience at this level.

“I’m always trying to improve and get better. Every game is different so you’ve got to adapt.”