Lee Bullen says he will have no issue in calling upon members of the Owls’ youth ranks if Sheffield Wednesday’s injury worries worsen.
The already lengthy list of players declared unavailable was potentially added to this week with Gary Hooper and Joost van Aken coming off early in the win over Nottingham Forest.
Joe Wildsmith is currently stepping in for Keiren Westwood in goal having come through the ranks but having developing talent in the first team has not been one of the Owls’ strong suits over the years. However, Bullen believes there are players capable of making the step up soon.
“The 23s won the league last years but the jump to the Championship is a big jump and you have got to be careful,” he said.
“You can make players careers and you can ruin players careers in you throw them in too early. I would have no problems, given the current crisis with one or two injuries, of calling them in if we needed to call upon them.”
Wildsmith has been excellent in the few games he has had since covering for Westwood and Bullen admits he needs to be playing more regularly.
“He’s been fantastic, we’ve all known the talent,” added Bullen. “I think the biggest problem the kid has is there’s a fantastic goalkeeper in front of him and he’s not played enough first team football. People will say ‘why not pout him out on loan’ but that weakens us in terms of back up if Westy does take a knock. The kid is caught between a rock and a hard place and he needs regular first team football but it’s difficult to do that.
He added: “He made saves to keep us in the game (against Middlesbrough) and down at Forest he gets a clean sheet and plays a massive part in that and could potentially have been man of the match.”