‘He’s an animal’ – Big praise for Sheffield Wednesday defender who’s earning his spot

Preston North End's Will Keane battles with Sheffield Wednesday's Akin Famewo

Photographer Alex Dodd/CameraSport

The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Sheffield Wednesday v Preston North End - Saturday 19th August 2023 - Hillsborough Stadium - Sheffield

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Famewo is one of only two players to have played every minute of the Owls’ Championship campaign so far – just six have featured in all three games – but hasn’t been in the central defensive role that he’s so used to.

The 24-year-old has been called upon to play at left back by the Spaniard this season, ahead of the likes of Reece James and last season’s first-choice wingback, Marvin Johnson, and put in some solid performances despite the tough results.

After three games no player has completed more tackles (7), made more blocks (7) or more passes (91) than the former Charlton Athletic loanee, and he’s expected to start once again this weekend when the Owls make the trip over to Cardiff City.

Asked whether he now sees him as a full back rather than centre back, Xisco explained that that wasn’t neccessarily the case - but heaped praise on the work that he has done in that position up to now.

"I don’t really see him as a left-back or not, but he is an animal,” the Wednesday boss said after the 1-0 defeat Preston North End. "He was our best player in the duels… He is strong, he plays forward, he understands the situations, and he is one of the guys who is closest to what the Championship demands.

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"If you had asked me five weeks ago if Akin could play this football I would have said no. I’m sure you were thinking that too. But you can leave him one against one with a guarantee he will win his duels.

"This is only one of the things we need… Everybody is at different points and has different capacities but every player is getting better and better every day - James also.

"We saw when we arrived that he had good potential and ambition, and this is very nice. Every day he comes into our office for individual meetings.”

Famewo and his Owls teammates will line up against Cardiff at 3pm on Saturday afternoon.