Sheffield Wednesday: Jos Luhukay targets cup progress

Success in domestic cup competitions has so far eluded Jos Luhukay in his managerial career.

Monday, 15th January 2018, 11:10 pm
Owls new manager Jos Luhukay faces the press after their draw with United

The Dutchman, renowned in Germany as an expert in leading teams to the Bundesliga, does not have any cup silverware on his impressive CV. His best run in the cups came in Germany when he led FC Augsburg to the semi-finals of the DFB-Pokal in the 2009/10 season.

“It was a long, successful story in that season,” said Luhukay. “We were at the time second in the league and we had beaten two or three of the top Bundesliga clubs to get to the semi-final.”

Owls manager Jos Luhukay

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Ultimately, Augsburg missed out on reaching the showpiece final, losing 2-0 to Werder Bremen.

Luhukay admitted: “It was not a happy day.”

The Dutchman, now preparing to take charge of his first match at Hillsborough since becoming the Owls’ new manager, also led Augsburg to a third-placed finish.

“It (the cup run) helped us in the league and gave us confidence and belief,” insisted Luhukay. “That happened in the past but we live in the future and must look to Carlisle.”

Sheffield Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay

Luhukay, a surprise choice to succeed Carlos Carvalhal at the helm, is looking forward to the Owls’ FA Cup third round replay with Carlisle this evening. While performing well in the Championship remains their number one priority, he wants Wednesday to go as far as possible in the competition

He stressed: “It is not so important that it is my first home game. What is important is we get through to the next round.

“Every game that you win gives you more confidence and maybe more trust in yourself and the team. It is an important game for us.”

Owls manager Jos Luhukay

Less than 24 hours after his shock appointment, Luhukay watched from the stands the Owls spurn a number of chances against the Cumbrians in the tie at Brunton Park.

He said: “I saw the first game (against Carlisle). I know a little about the opponent. Hopefully we create chances and score goals. We had one or two chances to score (at their place) but we forgot to score. We must convert our chances.”

Wednesday switched to a three-man backline in Friday’s goalless draw at arch rivals Sheffield United. Luhukay’s side looked solid as a defensive unit, restricting the Blades to few sights at goal.

Luhukay was happy with the clean sheet and certain other aspects of their display.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay

“I enjoyed what I saw on Friday,” he said. “We were focused in the 90 minutes.

“The fans made a good atmosphere for us. The players gave everything and after they went to the fans and they both had a good feeling about the last game.”

He feels it was a “good decision” to change the team’s formation, claiming it gave them more “stability”but accepts the Owls have to sharpen up in front of goal to turn around their fortunes.

Wednesday have gone four matches without a goal and record-signing Jordan Rhodes has been a big disappointment, finding the back of the net just six times this campaign.

Luhukay said: “I don’t know why Jordan has not maybe scored enough goals in the past.

“I have worked with Jordan one week and he played last Friday for us. I hope in the next weeks and months in the games that Jordan finds his best quality back to make the difference in the games with goals or assists.

“We must wait and look what Jordan does for us in the next game.”

Injuries have deprived Luhukay of a raft of key players, including midfield gernal Sam Hutchinson.

He said: “It’s not just Sam; we have a lot of who have injuries.

“At this moment, I must trust the players that we have and give them confidence. When players come back from injuries, I hope they can give us quality and can make us successful in the future.”