Sheffield Wednesday star ready to fight for Owls starting spot

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Top-scorer Lucas Joao is relishing the fight for a starting spot at Sheffield Wednesday.

The Owls have an abundance of attacking options, including Joao, Steven Fletcher, Sam Winnall, Atdhe Nuhiu, Marco Matias and Fernando Forestieri.

Joao, who has bagged nine goals this campaign, has not played from the start since the Boxing Day trip to Middlesbrough. He suffered a hip problem at The Riverside, a knock that sidelined him for five matches.

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The Portugal international has appeared as a substitute in the last three outings and was the hero as Wednesday bagged maximum points at relegation-haunted Ipswich Town, grabbing a 90th minute winner after great play by Adam Reach.

Joao insists he is unfazed by the competition for places up front.

Sheffield Wednesday star Lucas Joao

Sheffield Wednesday star Lucas Joao

"It is good for the team that we have lots of options," he told The Star. "We need to give our maximum to be on the pitch.

"If you are on the pitch, it means you have given your maximum and deserve to be there.

"We have got very good players so it is good that we have competition."

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The Owls climbed up to 16th after their narrow win against Ipswich in Steve Bruce's first match in charge. The result raised hopes of a late play-off charge, with Bruce's men nine points adrift of sixth-placed Bristol City with 17 matches remaining.

But Joao is refusing to get carried away.

"We are going to go game by game so let's see what happens," he added.