Sheffield Wednesday: It makes me proudÂ '¦ Jos Luhukay on the rise of Owls youngster Jordan Thorniley
Young defender Jordan Thorniley has grown from a boy into a man in the eyes of Sheffield Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay.
The boss trusted the Academy prospect to play his third match in six days as the Owls moved into midtable with a 2-1 Championship win over Ipswich Town on Saturday.
After seeing his side take six points from their last two two outings, Luhukay spoke of his pride in the 21-year-old who turned in another impressive display at centre-half.
"It's the first time I have let a young player play three games in a week," the manager said. "Until now, I have let Jordan play only at the weekend and not played him Tuesday or Wednesday to protect him.Â
"I speak with before the season and say to him that after his progression on the physical and mental side he must make the next step."
Thorniley was played out of position on the left flank in the 2-0 defeat at Brentford last Sunday before excelling in central defence in the wins over Millwall and Town.
"I am a little bit proud of Jordan that this week he has played three games," Luhukay said. "He goes always 100 per cent. He is such a good person with such a strong character."
The Dutchman made two changes to the team that had beaten the Lions 2-1 in midweek, putting striker Steve Fletcher on the bench and resting teenage midfielder Fraser Preston to make way for front two Lucas Joao and Atdhe Nuhiu.
Wednesday are treading carefully with Fletcher who has just returned after a long spell out with a knee injury and are being careful not to ask too much of young players like Preston who made his home debut against Millwall.
"Steven is seven or eight months out with his injury and he plays last Wednesday," said Luhukay. "We have seen how good and important he is. It is more that I protect him.Â
"It is different with Fraser Preston. He is 19 and it was his first game last Wednesday. After 70 minutes he got cramp. I speak also with Fraser and I say: 'I will not let you play two games in four days because physically you're not ready for that.'"
The Owls are at home to Premier League Wolves on Tuesday in the second round of the Carabao Cup.