Given he is entering the final chapter of his career, it is hardly a shock that Glenn Loovens is desperate to play as much as he can.
Time is of the essence for Wednesday’s club captain, who turned 33 in September,
Although he is the oldest member of the Owls’ squad, Loovens still believes he has plenty to offer.
And he underlined his class and experience in Saturday’s draw at Fulham. Loovens, making his first start since October 1, superbly marshalled Wednesday’s backline and was left deeply frustrated by Scott Malone’s late equaliser.
“It was of course nice to be back out on the pitch again,” he told The Star. “It had been a while.
“As a player, you want to play every game and I’m no different.
“But I have been in football long enough to know how things work. I had just come back from injury. I’m not young anymore so it takes me a bit longer to get back to full fitness. The boys were playing well at the back so I had to bide my time, which I did.”
The injury Loovens refers to is the ankle problem which required surgery in pre-season. It was a big blow to the Dutchman and the knock kept him out of action for two months, with head coach Carlos Carvalhal opting to switch Sam Hutchinson to centre-back to partner Tom Lees.
But having impressed at Craven Cottage, Loovens will be hoping to keep his place in the starting line-up when Carvalhal’s troops head to struggling Wolverhampton Wanderers tomorrow.
“We are not miles behind the top teams,” said the former Celtic and Cardiff City defender.
“We have had a full week of training and it has been a good time for us to come together as a team and hopefully we will get the three points at Wolves.”
Expectation levels soared at S6 following Wednesday’s march to the Championship Play-Off Final last May but Loovens refuses to use that as an excuse for the team’s inconsistent results.
He said: “We have got a lot of good players so, of course, the expectations are going to be higher. But that’s something you have to deal with as a football player.
“We have to embrace it and not run away from it.”
Although Loovens remains confident the Owls are on the “right lines” despite their patchy form, he felt they let slip two points at Fulham following an “excellent” first half display.
“We were solid as a team and helped each other out,” he said. “I don’t think we are far away. It is just the little things we need to look at.
“If we had gone in two or three up at half-time (against Fulham), it would have been a totally different game.
“It is fine lines in football. Sometimes you need a little bit of luck or composure in games.”