Sheffield Wednesday strikers are simply ‘outstanding’

Scorer Gary Hooper celebrates with his team mates after scoring against Derby on Saturday.....Pic Steve Ellis

To describe it as an embarrassment of riches might be somewhat underplaying Sheffield Wednesday’s striking options at present.

They might not all be scoring regularly, but the ones getting on the pitch are certainly more than playing their part in what has been a superb run towards what they hope will be the claiming of a play-off place.

Scorer Steven Fletcher with Ross Wallace....Pic Steve Ellis

With two games remaining, the Owls are just a couple of points away from getting the opportunity to battle for a place at Wembley for the second season in succession.

And according to winger Ross Wallace, the frontmen, whom he describes as ‘outstanding’ both individually and collectively, deserve a huge amount of credit for their performances of late.

Steven Fletcher’s reemergence after what had been a stop-start season has been timely; as has Gary Hooper’s return from injury.

Fernando Forestieri is back in the fray and making his presence felt from the bench, where record signing Jordan Rhodes is also having to play his part from - and he’s doing just that.

Ross Wallace and Fernando Forestieri

Atdhe Nuhiu offers a completely different option with his awkward physicality and at the minute, Sam Winnall can’t even get into the 18.

“This run has come just at the right time, everybody is on it, we have got bodies coming back fit,” said Wallace, who himself has been in impressive form during Wednesday’s run of five successive victories.

“Hoops is back to fitness, Fletch is coming into his own, Jordan is coming off the bench and making an impact.

“Gary Hooper has been outstanding - all the strikers have been outstanding, he’s the one that links everything.

Owls Jordan Rhodes joins in the celebrations...Pic Steve Ellis

“Fletch has been outstanding, Rhodesy was outstanding when he came on (against Derby). Then there’s Nando and Sam and Atdhe, we’ve got so many different options we just need to pick the right team for the game.”

He added: “Us as players, that could have been a problem but we know whoever the manager picks has to step up and whoever is not playing is really going to have to make an impact from the bench.”

Outstanding indeed. But perhaps the one that stands out most has been Hooper.

The 29 year-old has been superb since returning from first a hamstring injury, picked up against Fulham in November and then a quad complaint.

Celebrating Owls scorers Steven Fletcher and Gary Hooper.....Pic Steve Ellis

It’s no coincidence that Wednesday have won every one of the five games he’s played in since making a comeback at Rotherham.

Yet Wallace doesn’t believe that Hooper is praised enough by those outside of Wednesday.

“He’s a very clever player and we are delighted to have him here,” said Wallace.

“Obviously us as players, we know (how good he is) because we play with him, we know all about him and we love Gary Hooper. He’s been absolutely outstanding and hopefully that continues to the end of the season.”

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