Sheffield Wednesday winger keen to repay Carlos Carvalhal and make up for lost time
Life at Sheffield Wednesday hasn't, so far, been all that he would have hoped, but Will Buckley is determined to make sure that it will provide a lasting memory for all the right reasons.
The winger, on loan at the Owls from Sunderland, had been a bit-part player in the first half of the season, performing well when called upon, though those moments were fewer than he would have wanted when agreeing to make the temporary switch to Hillsborough.
Then came what he described as a ‘freak’ injury which, to his credit he battled through in the final stages to help Wednesday to a win over Preston in December.
“Obviously, I had waited a long time to get on the pitch to show what I could do but it was just a freak collision with the goalkeeper that can happen to anybody,” he told The Star last month.
“It was just freaky how I fell.
“The whole of my body weight went on to my shoulder and I popped the ligaments.”
During that time out, Wednesday brought in Callum McManaman from West Bromwich Albion, adding another player for Buckley to have to overcome to gain a way back into the starting XI.
That also coincided with a superb rise in form for another winger Ross Wallace, who has recently, before picking up an injury himself, scored some important goals.
A measure, though, of the faith that Carlos Carvalhal has in Buckley arrived with a game off the bench against Burton - McManaman was injured - and a start against Reading on Friday night.
Now, with eight games remaining, Buckley is aiming for more time on the pitch and the opportunity to nail down a top six place for the Owls, who have stuttered of late.
“I’ve had a few injuries and not much game time this season but hopefully I can kick on now in these last eight games and get a few more minutes under my belt and get back to my best,” he said.
“That was my first start for a while now after the injury as well and I just have to get back to a good level.”
The 27 year-old is just grateful for the opportunity to play.
Time on the pitch over the past few years, since signing for Sunderland, have been at a premium and Buckley is keen to repay the faith shown in him in recent weeks by Carvalhal.
“He’s said from the start that he believes in me and I’ve just got to try and take my chance now when I get it,” Buckley added.
“I’m nowhere near match sharpness yet but hopefully I can get that in these last eight games.”
Following on from that 2-0 defeat to Reading, Buckley said:“We are all disappointed but we have eight games left now and we have got to try and win every one. We are still in a great position and it’s up to us now to go and nail that position down and see what we can do.”