Alan Biggs’ Sheffield Wednesday Column: Jos Luhukay’s real job at Hillsborough has only just begun

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Worth pointing out that Jos Luhukay was facing reality - even before it hit in defeat to Middlesbrough last Friday. And again at QPR  on Tuesday.

On whether it was realistic for Sheffield Wednesday to expect a top six finish: “Yes, but everything must go well.” A reference to having all his best players available “to make a surprise.”

On whether his attacking line-ups were a trade-off for the lack of clean sheets & the probability of conceding: “I have to accept that. When we score one goal more I’m happy and proud.”

It’s a delicate balance. Is he right or wrong? It’s easy to say the latter when the Owls are desperate for a shut-out to take the pressure off attacking players.

And certainly they can’t afford a repetition of individual errors. Losing 3-0 at QPR in midweek, despite dominating possession, put the ball in the court of greater caution in the search for that elusive clean sheet.

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Jos Luhukay

Jos Luhukay

“I can’t believe how attacking Wednesday are,” said talkSPORT pundit Sam Parkin at Loftus Road.

But, having advocated that Luhukay “go for it” in a defining season for him personally, I think he’d be wrong to back down on his approach.

I doubt he will because he is not what he seemed to be when arriving with a reputation as a defensive-minded coach.

Take this comment when we chatted a few days ago: “I enjoy more winning 5-4 or 4-3 than only winning 1-0.”

The Dutchman, who achieved second tier success in Germany, actually claims that as “his philosophy,” although the nature of the game here may have played a part.

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“I respect the English style and culture,” he said, knowing fans want to see a team having a go.

It’s a dilemma in that to draw back might garner a draw or two, starting at Birmingham on Saturday. But could it also undermine Wednesday’s best hope of challenging at the top?

In simple terms, the fact is his defenders are not as good as his attackers.

I like the Luhukay blueprint in that, not only is it bold short-term, he is taking a long-term view within that; trusting and developing an unprecedented number of young players and vowing to target youth in anything he is able to do in the January window.

That said, his continual changes - five on Tuesday - can only be fully vindicated by results.

On balance, I feel we should not be short-term in judgment of this manager; the job he is trying to do has only just begun.