Sheffield Wednesday: The importance of Adam Reach as Owls head to Brentford

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"Fantastic", "flexible", "multi-functional" ...

It's fair to say, Adam Reach has made a big impression on Jos Luhukay since the Dutchman took charge of Sheffield Wednesday last January.

Adam Reach scores against Sunderland

Adam Reach scores against Sunderland

The attacking midfielder was a scorer in last night's 2-0 Carabao Cup win at Sunderland and will be one of the first names on the teamsheet for Sunday's Championship clash at unbeaten Brentford.

Luhukay's English may be a touch limited at times, but the adjectives flowed from him as he described the contribution of the skilful 25-year-old to the Owls' cause.

"I know what he can do. I have seen it in the last five months in the league," the boss said. "He's a fantastic player."

Left-footed Reach capped an excellent individual second-half display against the Black Cats with a glancing header to make the tie safe and set up a second-round Hillsborough showdown with Premier League Wolves.

Celebration time

Celebration time

The former Middlesborough man, who joined Wednesday for £5 million two years ago, can play as a wing-back, winger or attacking central midfielder.

"He's a flexible, multi-functional player," Luhukay added. "It was a great goal from Adam. He gives us something a little bit more. When he's on the ball, he's always looking for possibilities."

Next up for Wednesday, who have a point from their opening two league games, are the Bees who opening with a 5-1 home triumph over Rotherham United before drawing 1-1 at Stoke City and then seeing off Southend United 4-2 in the cup.

"It will be a very tough game," Luhukay warned. "They are one of the best footballing sides in the league. I have a lot of respect for them and the way they play.

"We know they scored five in their first home match. We have seen clips from Brentford and we know what is waiting for us in London. We must have high concentration for the whole game. Brentford have high pressing and also play offensive football at a very high speed. We must have very good defending against them."

Luhukay fielded a strong side against League One Sunderland while still managing to give game to a clutch of the club's under-23 prospects: Frederik Nielsen, Alex Hunt, Connor Kirkby, Matt Penney and Jack Lee.

"The mix was good," he said. "We played five players from the U-23s. It is important for us as we need these players in the next weeks and months. We will now play six games in 14 days, which is hard. The young players did very well. We saw a little bit more in the second half. They got better in the game, as did the team."

The manager, waiting for fitness verdicts on Fernando Forestieri, Joost van Aken, Lucas Joao and Morgan Fox, will make changes for Sunday's test at Griffin Park where the Owls were beaten 2-0 in their final game of 2017.

Centre-half Tom Lees, one of the senior players to feature at the Stadium of Light, echoed his manager's sentiments about the quality of Dean Smith's team.

"Brentford will be a massive challenge," the captain said. "They are a team who pull you out of position into places you don’t want to go.

"Then, they have runners coming from deep and wide. It doesn’t help them that they have such a tight pitch. It doesn’t suit the way they play.

"Of course, they are used to it, but if there is one positive about going down there it is that it is easier to close those spaces, easier to be a bit more solid. I don’t want to jinx it, but going down there I would like to think we can stay quite compact.

"When we get the ball, we want to play football so hopefully it will be a good game to watch."

Key to the Owls playing good football will be Reach. Luhukay had one more adjective for the man who has started all three matches for him this season ...

"He is a very important player for this team."

Forestieri fitness concern