Sheffield Wednesday: New arrival Callum McManaman vows to revive career at Owls after '˜worst year' of his career
Loan winger Callum McManaman believes Owls chief Carlos Carvalhal can help him turnaround his fortunes following the 'worst year' of his career.
McManaman officially moved to Wednesday on a temporary basis on New Year’s Day, having found first-team football hard to come by at his parent club West Bromwich Albion.
Despite becoming Tony Pulis’ first signing when he joined the Baggies nearly two years ago, McManaman failed to impress, featuring only five times in 2016.
His solitary competitive appearance for Albion this season came in their 2-0 loss at Luton Town in the EFL Trophy last October.
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McManaman told The Star: “The last year has been the worst year of my career. I have not played, not enjoyed it and been down.
“Now I have got a chance and hopefully going to take it. I just want to get back playing and enjoy it again.
“Previously, I have always been involved either starting or on the bench, but this last year I have not been involved.
“There’s nothing worse, training but you know you won’t be involved at the weekend no matter what you do in training.
“I have just been doing it for myself, in the gym at home, it feels like a waste of time but you have to keep going to keep fit and then get a chance to play.
“I am happy here and I won’t take it for granted again, you do when you are playing.”
The 25-year-old, contracted to West Brom until 2018, feels his long-term future lies elsewhere.
“I wouldn’t expect to go back to West Brom,” he conceded. “They have a way of playing under Tony Pulis so I can’t see that changing.
“We will see what happens here. Hopefully I can do well, and stay here.”
Having been frozen out at the Hawthorns, McManaman is grateful to Carvalhal for giving him the chance to rediscover his best form.
The Merseysider admits Carvalhal played an integral role in him dropping down a division. He went on to reveal he nearly joined the Owls last summer. Several clubs expressed an interest in McManaman’s services but the former Wigan Athletic trainee insists Wednesday were always his preferred option.
“I spoke to the gaffer in the summer a few times and I was very impressed with him,” he said. “But it never materialised, more due to West Brom because I don’t think they knew if they wanted to let me go.
“I was gutted about that, but the chance came before January and I was very keen on the move.
“I spoke to the gaffer again, he was keen, so it just worked out perfect. It was done before January 1, which is very unusual, I was expecting it to go to the wire again.
“There were a few clubs interested in the summer, but Wednesday I fancied all along. It’s the biggest club I have played for, so it was a no-brainer.
“The deal was done inside a day, and I was on my way here. Usually it drags out and takes weeks.”
McManaman, an FA Cup winner with Wigan Athletic in 2013, added: “I remember watching them in the play-off final because I knew there was a chance of going there in the summer.
“I saw the support they had at Wembley, there was a lot more than the Hull fans. I was gutted they didn’t go up.”
McManaman, who made his Owls debut in Monday’s home draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers, is enjoying working with Carvalhal.
“Carlos is sound,” he said. “He speaks to me most days and has helped me a lot.
“He wants see more of the ball at my feet and getting at players, higher up the pitch, rather than where I have been the last few years playing deeper.
“I think he will get the best out of me.
“I have seen the way Wednesday play, and I like the way they attack.
“He can get the best out of me, when I have the ball one-v-one up the pitch that’s when I do well. The last few years I have not had the chance to do that. That was a big thing, listening to his plans for me.”