Sheffield Wednesday chief issues rallying cry ahead of Sheffield derby

Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay believes his experienced players will relish the Steel City derby atmosphere when they take on neighbours Sheffield United this week.

Monday, 5th November 2018, 3:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 8:37 am
Under pressure Owls manager Jos Luhukay

The Owls head into the Sheffield derby low on confidence following a four-match losing streak and hovering just four points above the Championship relegation zone.

Thousands of Wednesday fans left Hillsborough in their droves with over half an hour remaining of last weekend's humiliating 4-0 loss to Norwich City.

Under pressure Owls manager Jos Luhukay

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It was the Owls' fourth defeat on the spin and leaves Luhukay's side in disarray going into Friday's duel.

But Luhukay, who is deeply concerned about his team's defensive frailties, expects his senior players to stand up and be counted at Bramall Lane.

"We have a lot of experienced players in the team," said Luhukay, who has frozen out the likes of Keiren Westwood, Sam Hutchinson, George Boyd, David Jones and Almen Abdi. "They know what the atmosphere in the Championship is, and they have played a lot of derbies.

"It all depends how you are as a team. You have to have 100 per cent trust to put in a good game. You must believe in that, what you are fighting for."

The manner of the Norwich performance, as well as the result, heaped more pressure on Luhukay. Wednesday supporters confronted owner and chairman Dejphon Chansiri outside the stadium after the match calling for the Dutchman to be shown the door.

It has been a challenging job for Luhukay, who inherited an injury-hit squad when he was appointed last January. A four-month transfer embargo prevented Luhukay from significantly reshaping his team over the summer.

Yet Luhukay's squad defied all expectations in his first match in charge when they put in a spirited display to secure a point away to Chris Wilder's side.

Luhukay, who will be without the services of forwards Fernando Forestieri and Marco Matias (both hamstring) through injury, said: "Maybe it's the same situation as when I first came. It was my first game, also not a nice period for Sheffield Wednesday with all the injured players.

"Every game is new. You have new chances to get success and that is also (the same) for Friday. We will try to win the game."