Sheffield Wednesday: Update on fitness of in-form midfielder ahead of important period
Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk hopes in-form midfielder Massimo Luongo will be fit for action sooner rather than later after just missing out on selection in Saturday’s draw with Leeds.
The Australian international has made quite an impact since bursting into the Owls line-up earlier this month, scoring the winner in consecutive 1-0 wins at Hillsborough and adding energy to the midfield.
Monk said he had wanted to include Luongo in the squad right up until the morning of Saturday’s clash, and suggested that while swelling on his ankle proved to be too much, he should recover in time for Saturday’s trip to Blackburn.
He said: “We tried to give him as long as possible but the swelling was just too much.
“With the way the midfield is at the moment with Joey [Pelupessy], Kieran [Lee] and Bannan and Hutchinson, I just didn’t feel there was a need to risk him.
“He was just a little bit too swollen and a little bit too sore, so he didn’t make the game.”
The match saw Wednesday revert back to the 4-4-2 system that Monk had so successfully employed early on in his Owls reign, with Atdhe Nuhiu coming in to partner Steven Fletcher up front.
Asked whether Luongo’s fitness had had a bearing on that decision, he said: “I played against Leeds last season twice [Monk’s Birmingham won both fixtures] and I have a way I think can affect them. It showed again.
“I made the decision tactically before anything happened with Massimo and I thought we were very effective with it. We were unlucky not to win the game.”