Sheffield Wednesday: Owls dismiss McGugan rift talk

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Carlos Carvalhal, the Owls chief, has denied any fall-out with Lewis McGugan despite the midfielder failing to make his last two match-day squads.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Fulham, the Portuguese boss told The Star: “Lewis has not been in the 18 in the last two matches but he is a player who I pushed a lot to bring to the club.

Lewis McGugan

Lewis McGugan

“If there is one person who pushed Lewis to come here this season, it was me.

“Just because he has not been in the squad doesn’t mean I don’t like the player. We have quality players in a lot of positions but I can only play 11. That is football so we have to make decisions.

“If one player plays on Saturday, another good player will stay out. If you win, everything is okay. If you lose, it is because we miss that player. It is normal in football.”

McGugan, formerly of Watford, has not figured since Reading on August 19. Three days later, he became a dad.

Carlos Carvalhal

Carlos Carvalhal

“He is now a father and has more responsibilities,” said Carvalhal. “We grow up with these kind of situations.

“In the period when he became a father three weeks or so ago, he was not completely stabilised because his wife was in and out of hospital. When the boy was born, he started to train very well and much better than in the past.”

Carvalhal claims McGugan has trained “very well” in the last few days and hinted he will be involved in the side who takes on Fulham.

“He will probably be in the 18 on Saturday,” he said. “I’m sure if he plays he will do very well. If he plays for 30 to 40 minutes, he will play very good and I am absolutely sure about that. I am happy to have someone with that sort of spirit and everyone feels a part of the team. I am absolutely sure Lewis feels a part of the team and can help us.

“He is training very well and something has changed in the mind in the last few days and can be important to us in the future.”

The Portuguese has multiple options at his disposal in all departments and went on to explain why full-back Rhoys Wiggins has been overlooked in recent weeks.

“Rhoys is training very well but he has not been on the bench,” he said. “I have picked Jeremy Helan because we need a full-back on the bench.

“Jeremy gives more solutions to us on the bench because he can play left defence and left winger. It makes a small difference to us.

“We need different solutions. The balance of the team and bench is important.”

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