Alan Biggs: Lewis McGugan omission a measure of how far Owls have come

Lewis McGugan
Lewis McGugan

It wasn’t just the supporters who watched open-mouthed as 15 new players were recruited by Sheffield Wednesday in late summer.

A key member of the club’s management team was also blown away by the near-£10m signing spree.

And Lee Bullen, who has crossed the divide between two regimes, now measures the Owls’ rocketing potential on the fact that one of the club’s most sublime players, Lewis McGugan, can’t be guaranteed a regular place.

“Did I expect 15 arrivals? – definitely not,” says the Wednesday coach and former talismanic skipper who has formed a close crossover bond with head man Carlos Carvalhal. “And certainly not of that quality, either. People will say the final piece in the jigsaw is still to get a striker. But it’s important to get the right one, not for the sake of it.

“Besides, we’ve recruited really well and, as we’ve shown, we’ve got players who can be game-changers.”

Former Nottingham Forest and Watford midfielder McGugan is certainly among them, having scored one of Hillsborough’s greatest-ever goals against Preston to secure a fourth win in a row.

“Last season Lewis was the first name on the teamsheet,” Bullen recalls. “He’s one of our most gifted individuals and yet a fabulous player is finding it hard to get in – that’s how far we’ve come. Lewis understands that and is working hard. Kieran Lee, for instance, has been unbelievable. He continually runs 13 kilometres during a game and has a heck of a habit of getting behind defenders.”