Luongo, who became a mainstay in the Owls' midfield last season after joining in 2019, will have to play the season of his life alongside his teammates to avoid relegation.

Sheffield copped a 12-point deduction from the FA after they were found guilty of overspending by breaking the EFL's profitability and sustainability rules in 2019/20, the season Luongo arrived at the club.


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They were also accused of anti-competitive practices and hiding the amount earned over the sale of their training ground. Sheffield only finished 16th out of 24 clubs last season, eight points beyond the drop zone, and have faced endearing challenges throughout the off-season.

While the punishment near confirms the club's relegation, it would have been even worse had a secondary panel not overruled the original punishment: direct relegation to League One.

This leaves Sheffield a flickering light at the end of the tunnel. Results under Garry Monk have remained relatively firm and Luongo feels there is reason for optimism after their last friendly, a draw with EPL high flyers Leicester City.

"Everyone is positive and knows we are starting with a clean slate and has something to prove," he told Yorkshire Live.

"The intensity and enthusiasm has been high in training. It has been good off the pitch. Obviously, I wasn't part of the group in pre-season last year. I came in after the season had started so I don't know what it was like then but it has been very positive."

Luongo has shifted from a highly-rated up and comer into an experienced-hand within the Sheffield squad, who has years of Championship experience in addition to sterling international credentials.

In many ways he has become a Championship midfielder through and through, sacrificing some of the more flashy elements of his game for sturdy, reliable and aggressive game-management.

In this fashion, Luongo is sticking with the Hillsborough club through thick and thin and trying to mentor the club's influx of young recruits for what promises to be an incredibly difficult season ahead.

"We have got a lot of young lads here and it has been a real positive experience for them. The older lads have helped them to try and transition into the first-team," he continued.

"You can see the strengths and we are trying to help them with their weaknesses.

"They have done really well since coming in. It is quite nice having some of the younger lads part of the group. It is refreshing.

"It has been a very good week," said Luongo. "It has been tough.

"A lot of base fitness work was done in the first week so we can perform at the level that the manager wants."


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