This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Player view’ series, this content strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer an opinion-based outlook on the perspective of the situation at hand…
Sheffield Wednesday have enjoyed a fantastic start to the season and that is in no small part due to the return of Kieran Lee to the first-team.
The midfielder has been in and out of the squad due to injuries over the last few years but there is no doubt that when fit, he makes The Owls a much better side.
Such was the concern of his injuries he was offered a new deal by former manager Steve Bruce on a short-term basis so that he could prove his fitness, but Lee Bullen and the Wednesday faithful will appreciate that decision now.
For Lee himself, it will be a great feeling to be back fit and helping the side to victory, and he will know that if he can stay injury-free then he will be a permanent fixture in the team once again.
He has already equalled the number of appearances he made last season and already has an assist to his name, and together with Sam Hutchinson he has helped to control the midfield brilliantly.
There is plenty to be positive about for The Owls so far, with newcomers Kadeem Harris, Moses Odubajo and Julian Borner all impressing, but it is the consistency of players like Lee which will be the difference in making the play-offs.
It is little coincidence that the last time the club achieved that feat was the last season in which Lee played regularly, and his leadership on and off the pitch should help guide the team in the right direction once again.
Lee has played for the club since 2012 and at 31-years-old will know that time is running out if he is to ever make it to the Premier League.
And right now, Wednesday are in the best position they’ve been in for quite some time. Since Bruce took over in early February the team has lost just three of 20 matches, conceding only 18 – and now with Harris and Jacob Murphy offering a significant threat in attack they have good squad balance.
Bullen knows the club and the squad remarkably well, as does Lee, and together they will have a positive influence on the dressing room and offer encouragement which should lead to results.
The manager has spoken of managing his workload and game time but having him on the pitch likely lifts the players in itself, and causes them to raise their game.
Sheffield Wednesday have made the play-offs in each of the last two seasons in which Lee has played in more than half of their league games, so he will believe that as long as he stays fit he has a chance of leading the team to promotion.