Dom Howson column: Leading Owls to glory is how Nuhiu will silence doubters

Atdhe Nuhiu
Atdhe Nuhiu

It is easier said than done taking criticism in your stride.

And clearly Atdhe Nuhiu had grown tired of people constantly questioning his ability to lead the line and the giant striker hit back this week.

The former Under-21 Austrian international topped Wednesday’s goal-scoring charts last season, bagging 11 goals. In two and a bit seasons at Hillsborough, ‘Big Dave’ has found the back of the net 20 times, prompting him to launch a staunch defence of his record in front of goal.

“Criticism can be true and you have to accept it but sometimes it is not right,” he told BBC Radio Sheffield. “They [Wednesday] have brought strikers in on loan and emergency loan and in the end nobody did better than me. I don’t accept the criticism because nobody has come in and done better than I have.”

It is worth reminding ourselves of who Nuhiu has seen off. Connor Wickham, Matty Fryatt and Leon Best all joined on loan, made big impacts and returned to their parent clubs.

Stuart Gray brought in three forwards on a temporary basis last term, recruiting Hallam Hope, Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Will Keane. Only Keane, albeit briefly, threatened to keep Nuhiu out of the side.

Throw into the mix Chris Maguire, who was released, and Stevie May, who recently left to join Preston, and you very quickly recognise that Nuhiu has a habit of winning over managers.

At his best, he is a handful, a nightmare for defenders. At his worst, he looks below Championship class.

There are times when you are left shaking your head at Nuhiu’s first touch, hold up play and indifferent finishing. His all around game can be so up and down, which must at times infuriate the coaching staff as they want him to be the focal point of the attack.

As much as I applaud Nuhiu for sticking up for himself, the best way for him to answer his critics is to start contributing more goals and playing an integral role in a winning, successful team.

Turf Moor is a ground that will bring back happy memories for Nuhiu. A little over 12 months ago, he stepped up off the bench to coolly convert a penalty on the Owls’ last visit to Burnley. Tomorrow would be a good time for him to open his league account.

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