Kieran Lee has vowed to repay the faith Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal has shown in him by taking his game to new heights the 2016/17 season.
The midfielder established himself as a first-team regular in Carvalhal’s first year in charge of the Championship club, who exceeded all expectations in reaching the Play-Off final.
Lee’s all-action style suited the Portuguese chief’s high intensity pressing game. He consistently played at high level, making 52 appearances, hitting seven goals.
Lee’s impressive development prompted Wednesday to reward the Stalybridge-born player with a two-year contract extension last week.
The 28-year-old, who has committed his future to the Owls until 2019, told The Star: “I’ve really enjoyed working with Carlos.
“Carlos has got a lot of belief in me. He has given me a bit more freedom to play my football and I’ve never had that before.
“I feel Carlos has made me a better player.
“Carlos is a big personality and likes to get involved on the training ground. All the lads respect him and the coaching staff.
“The manager believes in me. I appreciate all his support and hopefully I can keep repaying him by playing well.”
Carvalhal guided Wednesday to their highest-placed finish in 16 years last campaign. After beating Brighton and Hove Albion over two legs in the Play-Off semi-finals, the team fell short at Wembley against Yorkshire rivals Hull City.
“Carlos has done a great job,” stressed Lee. “He took us to the final last year, although we couldn’t quite take that last step.
“We didn’t make it in the end but hopefully we will keep progressing and go one better this year.”
Despite sorting out his long-term future, Lee is refusing to rest on his laurels.
He said: “I’m really happy to be here for longer but I still think there is more to come from me. I want to score more goals and for the team to keep improving. You can never stop improving.
“As a team, we have progressed every year that I have been here. Hopefully we can build on it again from last year and go one better this coming season.”