Sheffield Wednesday: Owls coach believes Joost van Aken will benefit from under-23s run

Joost van Aken will benefit from an extended run in the under-23s, according to Owls coach Neil Thompson.

Monday, 19th November 2018, 10:04 am
Updated Monday, 19th November 2018, 10:09 am
Owls Joost van Aken and David Jones. Pic Steve Ellis

Dutch defender van Aken made his third consecutive start for the development side during last week's loss to Barnsley at Hillsborough.

The centre-half lasted 80 minutes but was not at fault for either goal with Barnsley scoring from a free-kick and a speculative, long-range volley.

Sheffield Wednesday v Birmingham City Under 23's Wednesday's coach Neil Thompson

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Wednesday reduced the arrears through substitute Jordan Lonchar but couldn't prevent a third straight defeat.

Thompson believes van Aken, who suffered an ankle injury in August, is benefiting from getting minutes under his belt but stopped short of saying whether he would now be ready to rejoin Jos Luhukay's senior side.

"Joost has been building up to get near to 90 minutes," Thompson said following the 2-1 defeat to Martin Devaney's side.

"He got 80-odd minutes (against Barnsley) so that will be good for him in terms of getting the minutes in his legs.

"For any senior first-team player that comes and plays, these games are about them getting minutes on the pitch.

"This was a tough examination for all of them because Barnsley gave us a proper test."

Another senior player featured during the Hillsborough test, with forgotten midfielder David Jones making a rare run-out.

The 34-year-old has made just one senior appearance this term, featuring in the EFL Cup defeat at home to Wolves back in August.

He was withdrawn from the action at half-time on Friday night, with Thompson saying that the former Burnley man has been injured and that the idea was always to ease him back and withdraw him at the break.

"The plan was always for him to have 45 minutes," Thompson said.

"He's not had a lot of football because he's been injured.

"He's an experience player and like anything, they need minutes on the pitch and he was able to get that."

It has not been revealed what injury Jones has been carrying, with Jos Luhukay only saying that the midfielder was not available for training.