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Sheffield Wednesday appointing this 40-year-old as their manager is risky but here’s why the gamble would pay off

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Sheffield Wednesday playing a gamble for Danny Cowley makes sense

According to Sky Sports, Sheffield Wednesday are in advanced talks with Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley over the vacant managerial position at Hillsborough, with the report suggesting that the Owls have identified the 40-year-old as a suitable candidate to take over at the helm of affairs. 

Sheffield Wednesday are still without a manager following the departure of Steve Bruce to Newcastle United earlier in the summer, with Lee Bullen currently marshalling the troops in a caretaker role. 

The Owls kicked off their campaign in a spectacular manner with back-to-back victories over Reading and newly-promoted Barnsley but consecutive defeats at the hands of Preston and QPR knocked the wind out of their sails heading into the international break. 

Wednesday currently sit 11th in the Championship standings but, as the story goes, there might as well be a permanent manager at Hillsborough before the end of the international break, with Danny Cowley looking the most likely to be unveiled as the new face. 

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This is not the first time, though, that the 40-year-old has been linked with a move away from Lincoln City, given that Cowley was touted to take over at West Brom during the summer and, most recently, Huddersfield Town, who sacked Jan Siewert just three games into the ongoing campaign. (h/t Sky Sports)

Cowley might not have the CV to send the fans at Hillsborough drooling over the speculations linking him with the job but the Havering-born manager’s heroics at Sincil Bank definitely deserves a lot of acknowledgement. 

The Imps were tottering in the National League when Cowley took over back in 2016 but two promotions in the last three years have seen them win promotion back to the third-tier of English football for the first time since 1999.

As a matter of fact, Cowley, along with his brother and assistant Nick, was instrumental in guiding them to League One as the outright winners of the fourth-division last season. 

To add to that, it was under his stewardship that the Imps became the first non-league club to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, knocking out Championship sides Brighton and Ipswich Town, as well as Premier League side Burnley, in the process. Cowley’s other achievements at Sincil Bank include winning the Checktrade Trophy in the 2017-18 season. 

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Well, any follower of football in the lower divisions of England would be aware of the kind of magic that Cowley has worked over the course of his three years at Lincoln City. 

The 40-year-old has not only worked hard to build a solid infrastructure from the academy all the way through to the first-team at Lincoln but his charisma and know-how have also contributed a long way towards bringing the best out of the players. 

With that in mind, Sheffield Wednesday have every reason to look at Cowley as someone who could possibly produce the desired results over due course of time, which is to do well in the Championship and eventually get the club back to the Premier League after a long exile.  

His lack of managerial experience in the Championship might be an issue but, going by the quality of work he has done in the lower divisions, it shouldn’t be a big problem for the 40-year-old to make the step up to the second-tier and take up a bigger challenge. 

Cowley has been spot on with his man-management, as well as other areas of the game that require attention as a manager, and the Owls can certainly look forward to rediscovering their past glory if he manages to replicate his heroics at Hillsborough. 

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Bullen has done a decent job in a caretaker role but they need to appoint a permanent manager soon enough in order to lay down a concrete plan for the longer term and playing a gamble on Cowley could pay rich dividends.

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As for Cowley, though, he might get an opportunity to prove his credentials in the Championship regardless, given that Lincoln City are currently second in League One.