Jos Luhukay admits managing Sheffield Wednesday has been tougher than he expected when taking the job last month.
But the Owls manager insists his side are close to delivering a much-needed win in the Championship, where they resume action against automatic promotion chasers Derby County tonight.
Wednesday have yet to win in the league so far under Luhukay – though they have lost only once during his tenure – and now sit only six points clear of the relegation zone.
Despite the struggles Wednesday are enduring, Luhukay insists he has seen enough from his available players over the last five weeks to leave him confident the draws will soon turn into wins.
“When I have not a good feeling I will say that,” he told The Star. “But the team and the players give me every day the trust that we are very close to winning games.
“That is what we like to do. Hopefully it will be on Tuesday.”
With a catastrophically long list of injured first team players and a struggle for goals, the Dutchman has endured a difficult time since arriving at Hillsborough in early January – as he admits himself.
A total of 14 senior players were unavailable to face Barnsley on Saturday with the squad bolstered by four players from the club’s U23s ranks.
It is a scenario which means Luhukay’s introduction to English football has not been a smooth one.
“Yes, of course,” Luhukay said after being asked if the Owls job was tougher than expected.
“My team is very small. Every time, I have only 12 or 13 players and the rest is from the U23s.
“You must always look to what players are 100 per cent. And the players I have, a lot of them have not played much in the last six months.
“We now have a very intensive programme, playing five games in two weeks.
“It is not easy for the players to be 100 per cent when in three days we have another game.
“We played Saturday against Barnsley, then have two days before we play Derby on Tuesday. And then three days later we play in the FA Cup.
“We have a lot of games. We have a new preparation but also to see if the players are 100 per cent.
“It is very hard for them.”