A frustrated Jack Hunt claims the Owls could have mounted a third successive top-six push if fortune had been on their side with injuries this season.
Wednesday, in 16th position with five matches left to play, have been plagued by injury problems throughout the campaign. Although things have improved, manager Jos Luhukay was still unable to call upon nine first-team players, including Keiren Westwood, Sam Hutchinson and Kieran Lee, in Saturday’s Hillsborough defeat to promotion-chasing Fulham.
To compound their woes, Barry Bannan was forced off in the first half against the third-placed Cottagers after suffering a recurrence of a groin problem. The influential midfielder, who only recently returned to action, has been ruled out of Tuesday night’s trip to QPR and the club are still waiting to learn the full extent of his injury.
Hunt told The Star: “That’s the way it has gone for us with injuries this season. There are a lot of people who we have missed this season.
“I genuinely believe that even before Carlos [Carvalhal] left if we could have kept everyone fit we could have had a play-off push. I genuinely believe that. It wasn’t going the way we wanted but we were only in December.
“Fulham were not where they wanted to be in December but they are exactly where they want to be now. We could have done that with the players we have.”
“The team hasn’t changed in the last two years.”
Luhukay has vowed to “change some things” over the summer to ensure there is no repeat of the injury crisis which has hampered them.
As for Hunt, the wing-back has called on the Owls to sign off a disappointing year in a positive fashion.
He said: “The focus is to finish the season as strong as we can and probably see what the club want to do over the summer.
“It’s good that we picked up nine points before (Fulham) and were four undefeated.
“We’ve got another game which we have got to prepare for on Tuesday and it’s as simple as that really. We will go there and try to win.”