VIDEO: Carabao Cup progress can help lift gloom at Hillsborough, says Sheffield Wednesday starlet

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To say it has not been an ideal start to the 2018/19 season for the Owls would be a huge understatement.

Jos Luhukay’s side have garnered just one point from their two Championship outings.

Joe Wildsmith will play in goal against Sunderland.

Joe Wildsmith will play in goal against Sunderland.

And a dark cloud is hanging over the Hillsborough outfit off the field as Wednesday are operating under a transfer embargo after breaching Profitability and Sustainability regulations.

But Wednesday’s players are determined to lift the gloom, starting in the Carabao Cup at Sunderland tonight.

Joe Wildsmith, who will play in goal, told The Star: “It (a win), would build a lot of confidence around the place as there has been a lot of negativity around the club with the embargo.

“As players, if we can step up and create a bit of positivity, it can only benefit the club in all situations and maybe push us on in the league and get that feel-good factor around the place again.”

Wildsmith played in the league match at the Stadium of Light last season.

Wildsmith played in the league match at the Stadium of Light last season.

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The Owls’ off the field troubles has “dominated the press” this summer, according to Wildsmith.

“Although we have got the embargo, we have also got players who have come back from injury who feel like transfers who we have brought in as we did have that many injuries last year,” he said. “We missed players and had to deal with what we had.

“Those players coming back in feel like new signings and it stands us in good stead to move forward this year.”

So has the embargo had an adverse affect on the players?

“We try and block it out as much as we can,” said Wildsmith. “It is nothing to do with us on that level. We are training hard, playing games and trying to win and that’s all we can do as players.

“That is the only way we can deal with it (the embargo). We let others do what they can do.”

When Luhukay arrived in January, Wildsmith was the No 1 goalkeeper. He acquitted himself well as the Owls staved off the threat of relegation.

But Luhukay gave Cameron Dawson a chance to showcase his talent in the final three fixtures of last season. He impressed in Wednesday’s strong finish.

After assessing the abilities of Wildsmith, Dawson and Keiren Westwood, Luhukay opted to stick with Dawson in between the sticks.

Wildsmith regards the competition for places as healthy, claiming it can only benefit Wednesday in the long-term.

The 22-year-old said: “You can only have one number one, but having that competition there can only enhance all three of us. We are all pushing each other as far as we can go. It can only benefit all of us.

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“Obviously, Keiren [Westwood] has been a great servant and won awards and he has only pushed me and Cammy on. The three of us work together every day and push each other in training.

“It is great competition and we all get along well; that is the way the union is.

“Weavs [Nicky Weaver] has come in and added to the bonds between the keepers.

“Coming into this year, things were up in the air.

“Keiren had been injured and Cammy played the last three games and did well.

“The gaffer said it was all to play for. He said ‘you work hard and I’ll make a decision after pre-season.’

“Obviously, it was disappointing for me personally, but I have got to get my head down and work hard.

“I have an opportunity with this (Sunderland) game and have to show what I can do and hopefully I effect the managers’ decision. But it is ultimately down to him. I have got to try and take my opportunity.”

The Owls are set to make wholesale changes for the trip to the Stadium of Light. Youngsters Alex Hunt, Matt Penney and Fraser Preston are in the frame to make their Wednesday debuts while fringe players David Jones and Marco Matias could also be given a run-out.

Wednesday face a Sunderland team who have made a positive start to their League One campaign. The Black Cats defeated Charlton Athletic in their league opener before securing a hard-earned draw at Luton Town.

Wildsmith said: “They (Sunderland) have had a great start to the season and there is a lot of positivity about the place and I think they will be a tough opponent.

“It is a great stadium, surface to play on and atmosphere and I am sure that they will make it as hard as possible for us.”

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