Sheffield Wednesday: Carvalhal’s praise for centurion Kieran Lee

Kieran Lee
Kieran Lee

He is a player that could have got lost in the mix at Sheffield Wednesday following the plethora of arrivals at the club this summer.

But through a summer of great change, including a new head coach, Kieran Lee has managed to maintain his status as an important cog in the Owls machine.

Under Carlos Carvalhal, the midfielder has started nine games, including the last six Championship matches.

If he adds to his minutes against Preston North End this afternoon, Lee will reach the 100 appearance landmark for Wednesday.

Though competition for places in the Owls midfield is fierce, it is clear Carvalhal values the former Manchester United trainee as highly as his predecessor Stuart Gray did.

“He is a fantastic player and personality,” Carvalhal said. “He is an unbelievable player.

“He has the brand of Manchester United. He has the strength of a Manchester United player in the way that he plays.

“He runs 13km each game which is absolutely amazing. I’ve very happy about him.”

Lee is not a player to chase the spotlight and it seems he also demands little attention on the training ground.

Carvalhal said: “You never hear the voice of Kieran Lee if you don’t talk with him.

“He is very quiet but is hard working. He has a fantastic personality.”

Carvalhal enthusiasm for midfield men does not stop with Lee.

Barry Bannan has made a major impact since his switch from Crystal Palace last month.

And the Portuguese head coach revealed he had been watching Bannan for some time before arriving at Wednesday.

Carvalhal said: “Barry Bannan is a player I have followed for the last four years.

“I tried to sign him before and he is a player I know very well.”

Carvalhal rubbished suggestions former Newcastle United forward Shola Ameobi has been training with the Owls.

The Owls boss says it is not his policy to bring trialists in to his club.

He said: “He has not trained with us.

“I give orders that I don’t want players under trial. All my staff are analysing players. I don’t believe in trialists.

“To prove you deserve to come to Sheffield Wednesday, you must show something to be part of the team. You can’t show that in one week.

“Even when I was a coach of a third division team, I didn’t take on trialists because I don’t feel like a professional. That is my opinion.

“I don’t put in my mind that I need to trial a player to come to Sheffield Wednesday. It is not professional in my opinion.”