Sheffield Wednesday: Owls coach praises Wickham

Connor Wickham, right, had his best game for the Owls, at Watford
Connor Wickham, right, had his best game for the Owls, at Watford

OWLS coach Paul Wilkinson has praised Connor Wickham for his performance at Watford.

The 19-year-old had probably his best game since he was signed on loan from Sunderland.

Wilkinson, a former top-flight centre forward, says that the £8m youngster has the potential to be a very good player.

“It takes time; it was probably the best thing for him to go out and play games; he’s had probably 18 months without playing much, apart from England Under 21 games.

“He lacked a bit of match fitness, to start with. The other night he was terrific for us, The only thing he lacked was a goal. He contributed well and was part of a good, attacking team performance. Hopefully he can take that into Saturday.”

Wilkinson watched the youngster play twice for the Under 21s and he scored on each occasion, so the coach does not believe that the teenager is lacking any confidence in front of goal.

He said: “He had half a game for us then 60 minutes and has gradually built up his fitness.

“The other night he had three or four opportunities - two he made himself.

“I’m sure the more match fit he gets, the more opportunities he’ll get and his goal will come sooner rather than later.”

Wickham is due to play the final game of his loan at Leicester tomorrow but the Owls hope that Sunderland will extend it.

Wilkinson said that Reda Johnson is still on the way back from his ankle injury and will not be involved tomorrow.