Sheffield Wednesday: Nuhiu and Matias give Luhukay Owls selection headache

Wednesday chief Jos Luhukay faces some welcome selection dilemmas ahead of the forthcoming trip to Championship play-off hopefuls Middlesbrough.

Sunday, 28th January 2018, 2:00 pm
Atdhe Nuhiu

Competition for places is intensifying up front.

Atdhe Nuhiu claimed a double in Friday’s morale-boosting win over Reading in the FA Cup. The Kosovo international has bagged three goals in Luhukay’s four matches in charge.

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But arguably Wednesday’s standout performer was Nuhiu’s strike partner, Marco Matias. The Portuguese forward put in a tireless display and should have got on the scoresheet himself but his composure deserted him in front of goal.

Record signing Jordan Rhodes, brought on as a late substitute for Matias versus Reading, will be hoping to be given the nod against his former club. Lucas Joao could also come into Luhukay’s thoughts as the Dutchman chases his first league win.

Luhukay, who made seven alterations to his starting 11, said: “I have a lot of trust in these players. Every day they work very hard and intensively and we saw it against Reading. The players who played can also play Tuesday. But we also have players who did not play against Reading who can play in the first 11.

“Every player in the time I have been here has had their chance to give a good performance.

Marco Matias

“The atmosphere in the team is very positive. We have good stability in the team and shown good defending. It gives confidence offensively to create chances and score goals.

“It was important we scored three goals (against Reading). I hope it will give us a lot more confidence and trust in the games we have coming up.”

Luhukay believes there is still plenty of room for improvement. He is demanding the Owls improve in possession. Luhukay felt they were careless with their passing in the first half against Reading.

“We lost the ball too fast,” said Luhukay, who changed formation at half-time. “We were not good with our passing and Reading had good moments to score. We must do better.”

Marco Matias