Sheffield Wednesday: Owls boss praises his players’ character and team spirit

Michael Hector holds off Billy Sharp. Simon Bellis/Sportimage
Michael Hector holds off Billy Sharp. Simon Bellis/Sportimage
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Jos Luhukay says his Sheffield Wednesday players went some way to answering their critics during last week's Steel City derby.

The Owls recorded their first clean sheet of the season thanks to a plucky defensive display against bitter rivals Sheffield United.

Are things looking up for Owls Manager Jos Luhukay?

Are things looking up for Owls Manager Jos Luhukay?

It was a performance that went some way to getting the Hillsborough faithful back on side following a wretched run of form. 

Wednesday have been below-par of late, recording just one win in their past eight league games.

That wretched run had seen them fall well short of the Championship play-off places.

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Wednesday had gone into the last international break sitting pretty in sixth place in the standings.

But a poor run of form saw them lose four on the trot, with 12 goals shipped in defeats to Middlesbrough, QPR, Birmingham and Norwich respectively.

That was swiftly brought to a halt thanks to the gritty point earned at Bramall Lane.

Dutchman Luhukay says the squad is full of spirit and now hopes that the derby performance can be a catalyst for an upturn in fortunes.

"We have team spirit," said a defiant Luhukay. 

"I'm always seeing that my team have enough mentality and enough character.

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"Against Sheffield United, we didn't make individual mistakes.

"This is the difference from the last game (Against Norwich).

"We had high focus and concentration.

"When you lose four games in a row, it's not easy to come to one of the best teams and play your best football.” 

Luhukay says that getting back to basics was key to the long-awaited shut-out.

He says the focus of the defence, which was reverted back to three centre-halves, was crucial in blunting United’s attacks.

"First, we had to find good defending,” Luhukay added. 

"It's easy to say but difficult to do.

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"That (result) was a good step to find a little bit more confidence back.

"Our defenders were very focused and high in their concentration.

"When you don't make individual mistakes, then you give yourself trust.

"The team always works very hard and are intensive and this helped us to get the clean sheet."

Wednesday head into the international break eight points adrift of sixth-placed Derby County. Luhukay’s men will get the chance to trim that gap when the two clash at Hillsborough on November 24.