What captain Tom Lees and Jos Luhukay feel Sheffield Wednesday must improve to fulfil their potential


Thursday, 27th September 2018, 17:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th September 2018, 18:03 pm
Wednesday captain Lees

It was a word which surfaced regularly at the Owls' press call at their Middlewood Road training ground base today.

We saw the good, the bad and the downright ugly from Wednesday last week. Their defending and disjointed display at Nottingham Forest left a lot to be desired. But less than 72 hours later, the Owls put that disappointment behind them and produced their best performance of the season in Saturday's 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Jos Luhukay

Both Wednesday captain Tom Lees and manager Jos Luhukay have stressed the importance of the team showing more consistency if they are to be successful this term.

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"Teams at the top of the table put good runs together and play well regularly and know what they are going to get," Lees told The Star. "If they do play badly, they don't collapse.

"And you see a lot of teams who play poorly and nick games. It is about that consistency, not being too brilliant or not turning out at all. It is about finding the middle ground and grind out a result when you have a bad day."

Despite the team's encouraging recent form, the defender is acutely aware the Owls are not the finished article.

Lees said: "It [Villa] is only one game and we are long way off where we need to be and the team want to be. For us it is about improving every week.

"We will be showing from the Villa game that these are our principles in how we want to play and remind ourselves of them.

"We need to know every week what Sheffield Wednesday side are going to turn up because at the moment we are too inconsistent. You know each day if you are carrying out your principles. It is about nailing down those principles."

Luhukay, who cut a happy, relaxed figure when speaking to the assembled media, echoed Lees' sentiments, saying: "A team can only have success when they have very good organisation and are tactically disciplined.

"We have to do our defensive work 200 per cent. When we do that, we can play our football, as we saw last Saturday.

"We must take the confidence and trust from last Saturday on to the field to come to good football. Hopefully in the end we will have a good result."

Wednesday have a "lot of respect" for Championship leaders Leeds United, who visit Hillsborough in a televised clash on Friday evening, but Luhukay has told his players not to fear their local rivals.

Leeds are currently top of the table on goal difference following a first league defeat to Birmingham City.

"I think everybody in the Championship will be pretty impressed with how they have started," said Lees, who came through the ranks at Leeds, making over 130 appearances for the West Yorkshire club. "The thing that has probably caught everyone's eye is that they have probably got the same players, but seem to be playing in a totally different way and a lot of those players are outperforming what they have done in the past.

'They have set the pace at the moment, but it is a good challenge for us."

Lees is relishing the prospect of facing his old club.

He said: 'Hopefully we will be full of confidence wanting to carry on our momentum and Leeds will be doubly hungry to bite back after losing.

'I am expecting the first 10 to 15 mins to be quite frantic with a good tempo. But, different to previous years, you have two teams who play a very technical game.

'It will almost be like a foreign-style game rather than a Yorkshire derby. Leeds definitely don't play how they used to and we don't either.'

Wednesday are expecting their biggest crowd of the season when they host Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds team. A crowd of around 27,000 fans are set to watch the Yorkshire derby.

'The Sheffield derby is the biggest one, no question about that, but this is right behind it,' insisted Lees. 'It is always a fierce game and great atmosphere as both sets of fans bring big numbers. I am sure the game will live up to expectations.

'They have started well and we are not doing too badly.

'Leeds have showed enough this season to show they have enough quality and are a good enough side to be involved at the top end of the season for most of the season.'