How Atdhe Nuhiu's Sheffield Wednesday fortunes have changed

Seven months ago Atdhe Nuhiu was one of the most feared strikers in the Championship.

Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 8:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th December 2018, 8:35 am
Millers defender Semi Ajayi with Owls striker Atdhe Nuhiu.......Pic Steve Ellis

The giant centre-forward plundered nine goals in eight outings towards the back end of last season to help fire Wednesday to a 15th-placed finish and earn himself a new two-year contract.

Nuhiu was enjoying his football and in the best form of his Owls career.

Millers defender Semi Ajayi with Owls striker Atdhe Nuhiu.......Pic Steve Ellis

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Manager Jos Luhukay challenged Nuhiu to kick on over the summer.

But things have not gone according to plan for the 29-year-old this time around.

Nuhiu has not found the back of the net for Wednesday since their opening-day defeat at Wigan Athletic. Out of sorts and bereft of confidence, Nuhiu has gone 18 matches without a goal for his club.

Nuhiu passed up a glorious chance to end his barren run in the closing stages of the Owls' thrilling draw with Rotherham United last weekend. Nuhiu, preferred to Steven Fletcher in attack, steered over Adam Reach's cross from close range to spark more groans from the home crowd.

Luhukay is convinced it is just a matter of time before Nuhiu's luck changes in front of goal.

"At the end, when Atdhe had the chance, we had the best feeling of winning in the last seconds," Luhukay told The Star. "We hoped we would get the luck but Atdhe, in that moment, did not have luck on his side.

"Atdhe, from the first to the last minute, gave everything for the team and for himself.

"He had only one chance in the last few seconds of the game.

"But how he worked with his intensity and what he did for the team was very positive."

It remains to be seen whether Luhukay will keep faith with Nuhiu when Wednesday travel to Swansea City this weekend. Fletcher and Marco Matias are pushing for recalls as the Owls bid to halt a four-match winless streak on the road.

Tottenham Hotspur's loanee Josh Onomah is in pole position to start in midfield, with Barry Bannan set to begin a two-match suspension for collecting 10 yellow cards.