Critics Jos-tified? Luhukay is doing himself few favours with baffling Sheffield Wednesday team selections

Jos Luhukay, Manager of Sheffield Wednesday looks on prior to the The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round between Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea City at Hillsborough on February 17, 2018 in...

Sheffield Wednesday have lost their last five matches under Luhukay.

Jos Luhukay, Manager of Sheffield Wednesday looks on prior to the The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round between Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea City at Hillsborough on February 17, 2018 in...

Few would envy the situation in which Jos Luhukay finds himself at Sheffield Wednesday.

Two months into his Hillsborough career, the Dutch boss remains without the services of eight first team players - plus a few others who've collected knocks along the way.

But his baffling team selections are doing him few favours, as Wednesday slumped to a fifth straight defeat on Tuesday.

Their latest victors, Ipswich Town, were barely any better than their sleepwalking hosts, but profited from poor defending and questionable goalkeeping to exit Hillsborough with all three points - although their goalscorer, Martyn Waghorn, perhaps deserves a little more credit.

The Tractor Boys were there for the taking. The problem was that Wednesday were without the two players they needed most to do it.

With so many matches in quick succession (Ipswich was their eighth of nine in 29 days) one can accept that heavy rotation has often been necessary. But it's imperative in such situations that Luhukay manages his options better.

Having played five at the back exclusively throughout his reign (a system which brought initial success), it's hard to fathom why he suddenly switched to a back four against Bristol City - one of the division's most free scoring sides - on Saturday.

Lucas Joao of Sheffield Wednesday celebrates his goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Brentford at Hillsborough Stadium on February 13, 2016 in...

Even when taking into account the Robins's stuttering form, few expected a Wednesday win at Ashton Gate - whereas Ipswich seemed beatable. And not only were the Owls emphatically defeated in the south west, they were also robbed of the services of Sean Clare (foot) and Lucas Joao (fatigue) for Tuesday's fixture - although the latter appeared for the second half and scored his side's equaliser.

As a result, Wednesday took five fewer shots (13), had five fewer shots on target (two) and created one less 'big chance' (none) than they did in their previous Hillsborough outing against Aston Villa - in which Clare and Joao played the full 90 minutes.

  Total shotsShots on target'Big chance' created
Villa 18 7 1
  Total shotsShots on target'Big chance' created
Ipswich 13 2 0

And as much as this writer is keen to sympathise with Jos, if he wants to manage better footballers in the coming weeks and months, he may have to better utilise the ones he's got first - starting against Bolton Wanderers this weekend.

Can Jos Luhukay turn things around at Sheffield Wednesday?

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