Sheffield Wednesday: I’ve got a lot to learn admits former Manchester United defender Vermijl

Marnick Vermijl
Marnick Vermijl
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Liam Palmer be warned – Marnick Vermijl has an eye on your spot.

But the versatile defender admits he still has plenty to learn before he secures a regular starting berth with the Owls.

Vermijl is targeting as much playing time as possible before the end of the season.

And then he wants to be one of the first names on the team sheet for Wednesday next term.

After starting his first two games for the Owls following his transfer deadline day switch from Manchester United, Vermijl spent the next five games as an unused substitute.

The Belgian returned to action at Blackpool last week, replacing the injured Sam Hutchinson after just 18 minutes.

His rival for the right back spot Palmer has shown a strong upturn in form since returning in place of Vermijl.

But the 23-year-old is determined to push him all the way.

“I want to play as many games as I can and next season, I want to get into the team for the whole season,” Vermijl said.

“Liam is doing really well.

“It’s my job to do better in training and prove myself to the new manager.

“I think I did quite well in the first game but the second one, not so much.

“You learn from it. You learn from your mistakes.

“I think you learn more from the things you do wrong than from the things you do well.

“It was never going to be easy coming here but it’s another step in my career.

“It’s a new club, new players, plenty of people and things to get to know.

“But I’m getting there.”

Vermijl believes he does have plenty to learn about life in the Championship with only 33 senior appearances under his belt.

He featured just twice for Manchester United in five years at Old Trafford with both appearances coming in the League Cup.

Most of his playing time while with the Red Devils came either in the reserve or U21 team.

And he says the jump from the U21 game to the second tier of English football is a major one.

Vermijl said: “It’s totally different here than it was at United.

“The game is more physical as people say but it’s not just that. The mental part of the game is different.

“I played more or less every game for the U21s.

“We won everything but it’s a totally different approach to every single game.

“At U21, if you lost, no one cared more or less at United because you would know that you would win the next game.

“But here, you need to win every single game, you need to be at your best for every single game. That’s the main difference.

“For me it is a learning curve, you need to adapt because it’s totally different.”

Vermijl has discovered that being at his best in each game is not necessarily enough to guarantee a starting berth.

One thing the defender quickly noticed after arriving at Hillsborough is that head coach Stuart Gray is a constant presence on the training ground – something he was not used to.

Vermijl; said: “I’ve really enjoyed working with the manager.

“He’s not someone who stands on the sides. He is involved with everything in the training.

“At United, sometimes it was different because they have a coaching staff and not everyone is always is involved on the training pitch.

“The manager is here very single day and he is always on the pitch.

“He tries to speak to you every single day and I think that is really good.

“He’s watching you every day. How you perform in training will affect whether you play or not.

“The manager is pushing us every day and he wants to win ever single game.

“He’s pushing us really hard and it’s worked.”

The Owls host Fulham tomorrow and Vermijl believes the pressure will be on the visitors who sit eight points clear of the drop zone.

He said: “They have more to play for. They are under pressure and we are not.

“It’s harder for them to come to Hillsborough and it’s not an easy place to come.”