Giles Coke has claimed his Sheffield Wednesday teammate Atdhe Nuhiu can hit 20 goals to propel the team into the upper reaches of the Championship table this term.
Nuhiu has played an integral part in the Owls’ positive start to the 2014/15 campaign, hitting four goals in seven outings.
The 6ft 4ins striker was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet in Saturday’s defeat to league leaders Nottingham Forest. Nuhiu was twice denied in the final stages of the absorbing televised encounter and Coke reckons he is a much improved player.
“Attey is fitter, stronger and a completely different player to last season,” said Coke, who was named man of the match versus Forest. “He has worked so hard in pre-season and it’s paying off for him.
“All the credit goes to Attey because he is working so hard on his finishing, weights and diet side of the sport. I’m really pleased for him.
“There is no reason why he can’t be up there in the 15 to 20 goal mark. He’s a big unit and threat up there for any side. We are really happy to have him and hopefully, after the international break, he will pick off from where he has left off.”
Owls chief Stuart Gray thought Nuhiu was “unplayable” in the opening 25 minutes of their tussle with promotion hopefuls Forest.
“Forest didn’t know how to play him,” said Gray. “Attey is very technically gifted.
“He does a lot of good work outside of the box but we need to get him in the area.”
So impressed has Coke been with Nuhiu’s form that the midfielder believes the big man is worthy of an international call-up.
He said: “I don’t see why he [Nuhiu] can’t force his way into the international set up. I don’t know much about the Austrian national team but if he keeps playing like he is, I’m sure he will be knocking on the door.”
Gray’s men slipped to 10th in the standings and are still searching for their first league victory at Hillsborough.
“I honestly feel we will do better than what we did last season,” said Coke. “We’ve got better players.
“We have a real togetherness and we want to work hard for each other. We have proven that in the first seven games. It’s still really early but I’ve got no doubt we will comeback on the international break and win games.”