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An intense period ahead

23 February 2018

Owls manager Jos Luhukay says it is imperative that his players are protected with injury issues hampering progress since his arrival.

The Dutchman has endured a challenging beginning to his tenure as Wednesday boss but remains positive over what he has seen from the available players at the club.

Luhukay named a much-changed squad for the defeat to Millwall in midweek and says he must protect the players for the weeks to come, with a difficult schedule on the horizon.

He explained: “We have a very intensive and hard period and must look to what players we have for the next game.

“Coming up we have Aston Villa, one of the top sides in the league, Swansea in the FA Cup, Bristol City and days later Ipswich Town.

“The games follow in a very close distance so we must protect the players.

“We have a small squad available, we have to play many games and not every player can play to 100% after three days recovery and come back to give his best performance.

“We must keep an eye every training, every day, monitoring the physical situation of the players. We know we have a lot of injury problems.”

The injury concerns of key first team squad members has given a chance for others to step up to the mark, including those from the Under-23 squad.

But given the limited game-time for these players prior to Jos’ arrival, the manager says there is plenty to consider before naming a team.

“We also have the situation where some of the players in the last six months, have not played a lot of games, so they have not a lot of competition and limited match situation,” he added.

“Now, I’m six weeks here and these players who now play were not playing so often before so it is a new situation for them.

“The intensity is very hard, we have many games coming up and I must look to who can play in each game.

“I must always be very careful what I do with my team.”

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