Jos Luhukay has been doing an excellent job at Sheffield Wednesday this season, despite many having been frustrated with him at the beginning of the year.
The Owls got off to a bad start and fans would have been forgiven if they had felt that would have been a sign of things to come.
Wednesday were unable to make any transfers in the summer due to an embargo, however, they now find themselves sitting inside the Championship playoffs and just six points off of the leaders – arch-rivals Sheffield United.
In fact, the Owls have only lost five of their last 22 matches in the division, which is an excellent record considering the resources that Luhukay has to his disposal.
And, one of those resources is the academy, which the manager has been able to use to full effect this season.
The Dutchman has kept a close eye on the youth ranks, more so than his predecessors, and has used the likes of Matt Penney, Jordan Thorniley, Ash Baker, Fraser Preston and Connor Kirby, with many feeling it is encouraging for the Hillsborough outfit.
Neil Thompson, who is the Under-23 boss, told The Star: “It is very encouraging for everybody in the academy. Jos has shown a lot of trust in the young players and they have gone and taken their opportunities.
“It should be a motivating factor for any young player at the club. If they show the right attitude, they will get the opportunity.”
Sheffield Wednesday will have certainly surprised many with their current league standing as many would have felt they would have been at the other end of the table.
However, Luhukay has taken the risk to use some of the youngsters coming through the ranks and it appears as though they have paid off for him and the club, something his predecessors seemed adverse to doing.
The likes Penney, Thorniley and Baker have all excelled in the first-team so far this season and all look to have bright futures in the game – something Wednesday will be hoping is at Hillsborough and not elsewhere.
Sheffield Wednesday fans – thoughts?
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