"They make their own decisions.." Neil Thompson on future of Sheffield Wednesday starlet Osaze Urhoghide
Neil Thompson is hopeful Sheffield Wednesday can get deals done to keep their best young players at the club after the departure of Liam Shaw to Celtic was confirmed this week.
A raft of Owls talented Owls youngsters including Ciaran Brennan, Alex Hunt and man-of-the-moment Osaze Urhoghide are approaching the end of their current deals at Hillsborough and after the Shaw news, there is concern in the fanbase that more could be lost.
Urhoghide, who has jumped back into the Wednesday starting line-up in recent weeks having suffered loss of form and a long-term injury since his initial breakthrough in the middle period of last season, is a player Wednesday fans are especially keen to keep on.
Asked about the desire to keep the likes of Urhoghide on, Owls caretaker boss Neil Thompson told The Star: “It goes without question, but at the end of the day they’re grown men and they make their own decisions. You can talk and talk with them, but at the end of the day, they’ve got their own choices to make.
“We obviously want to keep as many of them as we can, but that’s football.”
Thompson paid tribute to Urhoghide’s efforts in recent weeks, including a standout performance in an otherwise lackluste outing for the Owls at Stoke in midweek.
The next task for him, he said, was to continue his good work consistently.
“He has got his feet firmly on the ground,” Thompson said. “He is an out-and-out defender, he loves defending. He has come in and done some really good things.
“He did well first half the other night and then he got asked a few questions in the second half.
“He's a young boy so he’s going to feel his legs and but and his recovery is absolutely key. It's all part of his learning.
“If you look back on his performances right back to when he started at Brighton, he has shown he can cope with the rigours of this division and what first-team football throws up.
“Like everyone, he is trying to get that consistency, so you don’t string one or two games together, it’s trying to string 10, 15 or 20 games together as that is what makes you a Championship player.”