High-flying Sheffield Wednesday keen to stay grounded after best start to a season since 1996

With the Owls having made their best start to a season for 23 years, things are looking pretty rosy in the Wednesday garden.

By Dom Howson
Wednesday, 14th August 2019, 7:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th August 2019, 7:30 pm

They sit top of the Championship table on goal difference after claiming maximum points from their opening two league fixtures.

Their impressive start has also increased caretaker manager Lee Bullen's hopes of securing the full-time Hillsborough gig.

But despite their morale-boosting wins over Reading and Barnsley, skipper Tom Lees is keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground.

Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter

Owls skipper Tom Lees

Lees told The Star: "No one is really getting too carried away. It is only two games.

"Obviously, when you put that hard work into pre-season, it is nice to get a little reward for that.

"But there is a long, long way to go yet and we have got plenty of tough games to come this month.

"Everybody is happy with how we have started. There is a lot of healthy competition now and we have got a lot of players that aren't getting in the team or even in the squad."

Confidence and self-belief is growing in the squad, but Lees recognises they are far from the finished article.

"The lads are realistic and they understand what we have done so far," said the centre-back. "I don't think we have been tested too much but then again you have got to win games.

"Winning games builds confidence and that is all we can do.

"We can only play who is in front of us and play them to the best of their ability. We have done pretty well and we have given ourselves something to build on.

"People say every year we need to get off to a good start and hopefully we are on our way to doing that."

Wednesday enjoyed a strong pre-season and Bullen, placed in charge of the team on a temporary basis last month following the controversial departure of Steve Bruce, has the luxury of virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from.

Lees said: "We got a good pre-season behind us and I think that is there for everybody to see. We look fit, strong and have got a very balanced squad.

"It is as well balanced as I have seen since I have been here in terms of different types of players and we have got good legs about us and that's what you need in this division."

The 28-year-old, who has been the Owls' defensive linchpin for years, has also praised the impact of Tony Strudwick. The former Manchester United fitness coach was brought in by Steve Bruce to head up the club's sports science and medicine departments over the summer.

Lees said: "He has been very good. His record of who he has worked for speaks for itself.

"He is on it in every aspect. It was probably the one thing that the club needed.

"People don't see too much of what goes on day to day but he is trying to make us as well prepared as we can be for a Saturday.

"I can't speak highly enough of him. It is just good to have him at the club."