Sheffield Wednesday goal machine Connor Wickham is a “coach’s dream”, according to former Owls skipper Lee Bullen.
England Under-21 international Wickham sat out Saturday’s 1-1 draw at non league Macclesfield Town in the third round of the FA Cup as he was not given permission to play by parent club Sunderland and his pace and directness were sorely missed in the final third.
But the striker, who has notched seven goals in nine starts since moving to Hillsborough, is set to be restored to the starting line-up when the Owls return to league duty on Saturday against Leeds United.
Development coach Bullen, who is assisting Wednesday caretaker boss Stuart Gray, told The Star: “Connor is a very quiet lad but he is determined to do well.
“He takes a lot of credit for coming back to the club.
“He knew we were down near the bottom but he wants to play football.
“It is a coach’s dream to have a player like that.”
It was in November that Wickham rejoined Wednesday on a temporary basis and his scoring feats over the festive period prompted the Championship club to extend his youth loan last week. He is eligible to feature in the Owls next four league matches.
The 20-year-old can sign for only 28 days at a time due to the terms of his youth loan.
“Goalscorers are worth their weight in gold,” admitted Bullen. “We have got Connor full of confidence and he is flying at the moment.
“He is leading from the front, putting in the hard yards and putting in one heck of a shift for the team.
“Connor has got a long way to go but he is really enjoying himself here.
“He was not getting regular first-team football [at Sunderland] so this move has given him an opportunity to come to another big club.
“He is going about
things in the right way. His attitude is great.”
Bullen and Gray have rectified Wednesday’s defensive frailties over the festive period, with the club having recorded three clean sheets in their last six outings.
Gray is set to meet Owls chairman Milan Mandaric today to discuss taking over as Dave Jones’ full-time successor.