Luhukay wants his players to trust each other - maybe he needs to trust them more too: Chris Holt’s Sheffield Wednesday Column

Sheffield Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay
Sheffield Wednesday manager Jos Luhukay
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It’s difficult to gauge whether Jos Luhukay knew exactly what he was walking into when he agreed to be the new boss of Sheffield Wednesday.

When asked about it at his pre-match media briefing yesterday ahead of the visit of Bolton Wanderers, the Dutchman insisted that he came to Sheffield with his eyes wide open, well-aware of the challenge that faced him.

You can only take his word but given the problems Luhukay inherited, you have to wonder if he truly realised just how difficult a job this was.

The injuries are well-documented and the list has read like a who’s who of top Championship footballers. With that in mind Luhukay has felt he has had to shuffle his pack to keep everyone fresh.

It feels, though, that the sheer depth of the squad that finds itself on the treatment table has frightened the manager into not believing he can trust many of them to cope with the demands of this hugely challenging division.

He has spoken a lot this week about confidence and trust and that the players must believe in themselves more. Perhaps, though, he needs to trust them a little bit more himself.

Obviously he will know better than all of us the physical shape the players available for selection are in but the number of changes being made to each and every line-up is not conducive to gaining consistent levels of performance from the team.

In almost every game they appear as though they’ve never played together before and an average of around five changes to the side from the previous game has to be seen as a big reason for that.

In all, Luhukay has used 25 players in the 14 games that he has been in charge, which seems like a remarkable figure, given that there are double-figures sitting on the sidelines.

Some don’t need to be left out at all - Adam Reach is one of the fittest players in the league, yet on what has become an infamous night at Millwall where not one striker appeared in the starting XI, he too was left on the bench.

It was that game at the Den which could end up defining Luhukay’s reign at Hillsborough unless he begins to add a consistency to his team selection.

What’s important at the minute is getting points on the board. Due to the fact that teams below them have been unable to take advantage of Wednesday’s torrid form, a couple of wins will probably be enough to ensure safety.

In that case, play the best team, the in-form players to get the required results and then worry about rotation when survival has been achieved.