Jos Luhukay convinced the goals will come for Sheffield Wednesday

In harmony Owls Jordan Rhodes with Manager Jos Luhukay....Pic Steve Ellis
In harmony Owls Jordan Rhodes with Manager Jos Luhukay....Pic Steve Ellis
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If Sheffield Wednesday are to finally rid themselves of the cloud of potential relegation that’s been hovering over the club then there’s one thing they most definitely have to improve on.

Goals have been in short supply for the majority of the campaign and especially since Jos Luhukay took charge in January.

Spectacular effort from Owls Lucas Joao.....Pic Steve Ellis

Spectacular effort from Owls Lucas Joao.....Pic Steve Ellis

Twelve goal in 12 games provides a figure just a little under their average before the Dutchman was brought in to replace Carlos Carvalhal.

While, initially at least, Luhukay made the team harder to beat, draws came with that pragmatic approach and too many of those can prove costly, especially when at the wrong end of the table.

The fact that top scorer Gary Hooper, Steven Fletcher and Fernando Forestieri are unavailable doesn’t help matter and now the onus is on Lucas Joao, Atdhe Nuhiu and Jordan Rhodes to find the net and pull Wednesday away from that threat of the drop.

Rhodes in particular is a player Luhuay should be able to look to, but his record for the Owls comes nowhere near what he marked-up at previous clubs.

How did we loose that....Owls Atdhe Nuhiu......Pic Steve Ellis

How did we loose that....Owls Atdhe Nuhiu......Pic Steve Ellis

That said, Luhukay is confident that the goals will comes ... because he’s been in the situation before.

“I have worked with a lot of strikers but also with a striker in Jordan’s position,” said the Owls manager.

“I went to Hertha Berlin and they had a striker from Columbia, Adrian Ramos. In the season before he did not score a lot of goals and was small in his performance.

“At the moment I came he grew and in that season scored 15 goals and had ten assists. He was a very important player for us.

Owls George Hirst back in action....Pic Steve Ellis

Owls George Hirst back in action....Pic Steve Ellis

“He was very important in us going from the second tier to the first. We won the championship. And in the season after, in the top league, had also scored goals and he went with a very high transfer to Borussia Dortmund for nine or ten million.

“Always in the clubs where I have been, I always have three or four strikers that score ten or 15 goals. That is why I also have the trust in Jordan.

“When you have the instinct, when you have the feeling that Jordan had before, you cannot lose that.

“He had that in the past. He can score goals. My hope is that in the next three months he can bring that back, his quality, his instinct, and his feeling for us to score. I believe in him and I think he can do it.”

To offer an indication as to how badly Wednesday have struggled, Hooper hasn’t played since early December and remains their leading scorer.

Meanwhile, this weekend’s opponents Bristol City have a central defender in Aden Flint on eight goals - just three fewer than Hooper.

Luhukay is in no doubt as to the enormity of the task in getting enough goals to win more games and stave off the teams beneath them but he still maintains the quality is there available to him.

“Goals making in football is a difficult situation,” he said.

“We have Fletcher, Hooper and Forestieri - three players who are maybe good for 15, 20 or 25 goals.

“When you have these three players on the pitch they can maybe make us more effective. The players are not there.

“Atdhe Nuhiu, Lucas Joao, Jordan Rhodes, these players have a chance and they must try to also be effective and score goals. Hopefully they will score goals.”

And possibly George Hirst, too? The young striker has been at the centre of a contract wrangle for almost all of this season, a situation which finally softened last week with Hirst playing and scoring for the under 23s against Leeds United.

There’ll be no rushing on that score, however, as far as Luhukay is concerned.

“He’s now for us an option,” said the manager. “He’s not played any games over seven or eight months. Only training. We must give it time and be patience and we will see what the future brings us.”