Ross Wallace believes Owls fans are starting to see the best of Gary Hooper and hopes the striker will remain at Hillsborough for the remainder of the campaign.
Hooper, on loan from Norwich City, is set to head back to his parent club on January 17.
The 27-year-old initially struggled to make an impact, having arrived short of match sharpness. But Hooper has acclimatised to his new surroundings over the last month, leading to boss Carlos Carvalhal admitting he would like to retain the former Celtic player’s services. Hooper’s contract expires at Carrow Road in the summer, although Norwich have the option of keeping him a further year.
Buoyed after his stunning strike in the Owls’ win at Fulham, Wallace said: “Gary has taken a bit of flak but when I joined from Burnley, I hadn’t played much football. It was the same for Gary. Maybe he was a little bit rusty.
“It can take three or four games to find your feet but I think you could see against Fulham that he is finding that form. He holds the ball up for the boys. Gary was on fire and so unlucky not to get a goal. He is a player I would love to keep until the end of the season.”
Wallace also praised Carvalhal for masterminding the Owls’ third win in their last four fixtures.
“He does his homework on players and says he saw me about 100 years ago scoring great goals!” quipped the Scot.
“He has been joking with me all week and telling me to shoot more.
“I love playing for him. I was a bit unsure at first because he is a foreign coach. He didn’t know me but he has been fantastic for me and changed the way I play. I can play on the outside or inside now. It suits me to a tee.”