From a first-team regular, to Championship bench-warmer.
It has been a frustrating and bizarre couple of months for new Wednesday recruit Lewis McGugan.
A dynamic midfielder with an eye for goal, McGugan hit the back of the net 11 times in 37 appearances as Watford finished 13th in the Championship last season.
Despite his impressive record in front of goal, the 26-year-old has struggled to force his way into Hornets head coach Slavisa Jokanovic’s plans, making just one appearance for the London outfit since October 4.
A lack of game time prompted McGugan to join the Owls on a temporary basis on Wednesday. Jokanovic, Watford’s fourth boss since August, said the Nottingham-born player “wanted to go” because he “wasn’t playing enough minutes” with his side.
When pressed on what happened at his parent club, McGugan told The Star: “You tell me. Football’s a funny game and these things happen. You just have to move on and make the most of any situation.
“I just want to play football. It’s a big squad at Watford, and I am at that age now - I am very hungry and want to play as much as possible.
“Some people can sit on the bench and play here and there, I don’t want to do that at this point in my career. I wanted to get out and play football.”
Opportunities to impress at Watford have been limited for McGugan. The former Nottingham Forest trainee has made just six starts and one further appearance from the substitutes bench in all competitions this season.
He admitted: “I haven’t played for a long time, and even though I have been training, there’s nothing like playing. I just have to try and ease myself in, get minutes under my belt, and the fitter I get the stronger I will be. It’s been good to join training and meet the lads.
“I haven’t played for probably two months. That’s the big reason why I wanted to get back playing as much as possible. Hopefully, I can get fit as quick as possible.”
McGugan, who knows Sam Hutchinson from his days at Forest, said his new teammates have made him feel “very welcome”.
“I spoke to a few people who have played under Stuart Gray before, and Wednesday are a massive club,” he said. “I am a Nottingham boy, and the move ticked a lot of boxes. I just want to get back playing, get a smile on my face, and enjoy football. That’s the important thing. It’s something which i have lost over this season.”
He concedes he is unsure where his long-term future lies.
“I am here until January and that’s all I am concentrating on at the moment,” he said. “We can re-assess the situation then.”