Sheffield Wednesday: Strike duo Lucas Joao and Atdhe Nuhiu continue to impress as Owls pull clear of trouble

Owls strikers Atdhe Nuhiu and Lucas Joao
Owls strikers Atdhe Nuhiu and Lucas Joao
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It was a very good Easter for the Owls - and a cracking one for two of the Championship club’s strikers.

Lucas Joao and Atdhe Nuhiu scored five of Wednesday’s seven goals in their superb victories over Preston North End and Sunderland.

Jubilant Owls scorers Lucas Joao with Atdhe Nuhiu at Sunderland. Picture: Steve Ellis

Jubilant Owls scorers Lucas Joao with Atdhe Nuhiu at Sunderland. Picture: Steve Ellis

Joao and Nuhiu have blossomed under Luhukay’s watchful eye. Pacy forward Joao has found the back of the net on seven occasions since the Dutchman’s arrival.

But Nuhiu has particularly flourished over the last three months. Luhukay has played the 28-year-old 12 times from the start and Nuhiu has repaid his faith, claiming nine goals and four assists.

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“Lucas and Atdhe are good friends off the pitch and enjoy playing with each other,” midfielder Joey Pelupessy told The Star. “They are very important to the team.

“They have been strong and scored a lot of goals in the last weeks.

“The most important thing is they keep hold of the ball so we can go up the pitch as a team. If we are losing every ball, it is difficult to control the game.”

Nuhiu, whose deal runs out this summer, played an integral role in Monday’s first win on Wearside in nearly 50 years. He created Joao’s opener with an intelligent knockdown and tapped in the killer third.

Nuhiu was a thorn in Sunderland’s side all afternoon in the air, winning 17 of his 19 aerial challenges.

Pelupessy said: “Speaking from my own point of view, I like to play with a really big striker. It is always good for the team. He can hold the ball and everyone can go up.

“Atdhe is doing very well. I’m proud of him.”

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Nuhiu, formerly of Rapid Vienna and Turkish outfit Eskişehirspor, is in a rich vein of form, having notched five goals in his last three starts. Pelupessy hopes the giant forward extends his Hillsborough stay.

“Atdhe is a great striker and has been a big player for us over the last couple of months,” he said. “He is very strong and scoring a lot of goals which is important as a striker. He is important to the team. Hopefully he is going to stay but I don’t know his situation.”

Nuhiu has been named Wednesday’s Player of the Month for March, having received a whopping 85 per cent of the votes.

“I have been here a long time now and I think the supporters know what this club means to me,” said Nuhiu, who joined the Owls in July 2013. “I am not just a person who comes here and plays football. I think they can see what I feel for this club and that’s why I have to thank them for voting me.

“It means a lot to me, I have tried to come back after a long time not playing, and it’s good to know that people still believe in me.”

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