Sheffield Wednesday: The best is yet to come from Rhys

Rhys McCabe wants to force his way into Dave Jones' first-team plans. Picture: Steve Ellis.
Rhys McCabe wants to force his way into Dave Jones' first-team plans. Picture: Steve Ellis.
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2013 has not been too kind to Rhys McCabe.

The midfielder struggled to hold down a regular first-team place in the second half of last season as Sheffield Wednesday’s fight to preserve their Championship status went right down to the wire.

This year, the Scotland-under 21 international has chalked up just four starts and one substitute appearance, with manager David Jones preferring experience in the middle of the park. David Prutton, Giles Coke, Seyi Olofinjana and Danny Pugh all got given more run-outs in the centre than McCabe, who became a a peripheral figure in the Owls battle to stay up.

The 20-year-old, who played 23 times, hitting one goal, in his first season in English football after his protracted move from Glasgow Rangers, has told The Star he is determined to prove his worth over the coming months, insisting his best is yet to come.

“It was a learning curve for me coming down from Scotland,” he admitted. “I was happy to play as many games as I did but there is a definitely a lot more to come from me.

“It is a tough league and I think people underestimate it. There are a lot of quality sides and it was certainly a learning curve for me so hopefully I can push on this season.”

McCabe came on as a second-half substitute in Wednesday’s pre-season friendly loss to Braga in midweek as part of their week-long warm weather training camp in Portugal. Jones said he was pleased with the workout and added: “It was a good exercise for us and Hull will present us with a different game and a challenge on Saturday.”

Jones is calling on his team to follow Braga’s example by retaining possession better.

“I thought we could have shown a little more patience; English teams tend to try to look for the killer ball whereas European teams don’t do that,” he said.