Head coach Carlos Carvalhal insists Sheffield Wednesday have the “correct balance” in midfield to be successful at this level.
Some fans questioned over the summer why the Owls added Almen Abdi and David Jones to their plethora of central midfield options.
Abdi has struggled to hit top form since arriving from Watford but Jones has been a revelation in the holding role.
Now Carvalhal has explained in depth for the first time why he wanted to increase competition for places in that department.
The Portuguese chief cited promotion rivals Brighton and Hove Albion as a team who also bolstered their midfield by capturing Steve Sidwell and Ollie Norwood.
“We played 55 games last season and midfielders run 11-12km every game,” he said. “Sometimes we play three games in a week.
“Kieran Lee did fantastic last year.
“He is an excellent player. Maybe he is from another planet! He played most of the games and runs 12 or 13km. It is not normal.
“We need two players per position and midfield is a very important in the team. We need quality players if we have problems with some or need to share. It is normal.
“We need good footballers. If you have two good midfielders and after don’t have anyone to substitute them, you decrease the value of their team.
“We have the correct balance in the team.”
Carvalhal is optimistic Keiren Westwood (back) will be fit to play.
“Keiren had a scan but it was clear,” said Carvalhal, who expects Lucas Joao to resume full training next week. “He still has a little pain but we are monitoring him day by day and we hope that he can recover. Keiren is an important player.”