Sheffield Wednesday: Selfless Kieran Lee will '˜run through brick walls' for the Owls, says Jack Hunt
Full-back Jack Hunt has paid tribute to Owls teammate Kieran Lee, claiming the midfielder deserves far more credit for his industrious displays.
The 28-year-old, who joined Wednesday in May 2012, could make his 150th appearance for the Championship outfit in their home encounter with Nottingham Forest this weekend.
Lee, a graduate of Manchester United’s fabled youth system, has blossomed since Stuart Gray converted him from a right-back into a central midfielder.
He quickly won over head coach Carlos Carvalhal, featuring more than any other player in the Owls’ charge to the Play-Off Final last time around. Lee weighed in with seven goals, including a crucial strike in their Semi-Final success over Brighton and Hove Albion.
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Although Wednesday significantly strengthened their midfield department over the summer, recruiting Almen Abdi and David Jones, Lee remains one of the first names on the teamsheet for Carvalhal.
Hunt told The Star: “Kieran will run through brick walls for this team. He plays to his strengths and does so much work that goes unnoticed.
“Kieran runs a lot and does quite a bit of the dirty work. He doesn’t always get the credit that he deserves.
“I remember walking back to the centre circle after he scored against Bristol City and it seemed like he had nothing left in the tank and that’s just Kieran all over.”
It is not just Lee who may reach a big landmark on Saturday. Striker Steven Fletcher is one shy of 100 league goals in his career.
The Scotland international has claimed two goals in his last three Wednesday starts.
“Fletch is in great form,” said Hunt. “His performances have been very good for us even when he wasn’t scoring.
“Fletch scored for his national team and that lifted him. Confidence is a massive thing in football. It is coming back into the team and we are looking a lot better and stronger now.”
Fletcher, formerly of Burnley, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Sunderland, is loving life at S6. He would like to bring up his three figures on Saturday but insists his main focus is on helping Wednesday get back to winning ways.
“It would be nice to get that milestone as it’s something to remember but it’s more about getting the three points against Forest,” stressed Fletcher.