Sheffield Wednesday boss Stuart Gray refuses to blame the Hillsborough pitch after goalless draw with Birmingham City

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Owls chief Stuart Gray refused to blame the Hillsborough pitch following their goalless draw at Birmingham City.

Wednesday, who remain ninth in the Championship, have picked up a paltry 15 points from a possible 42 in their own backyard this season.

Their pitch is not in the best of the condition and has been affected badly by the bad weather in the region.

But Gray, who handed starts to loan pair Lewis Baker and Will Keane, said: “The pitch is not the best but we have to learn how to get results on it.

“We have got another nine home games so we have to find a way of beating teams on it. We don’t want to use it as an excuse.

“The players are tensing up because the ball is bouncing all over the place. It’s hard to get the ball under the control. The players have got to trust themselves. I would rather they try and fail than fail and try.

“Sometimes it might not be pretty and it might be ugly. Tonight was maybe an opportunity to win on a poor pitch. There were not many chances and we didn’t work the goalkeeper enough. When you do get chances, you’ve got to punish teams.”

Keane, on loan from Manchester United, was taken off in the second half after suffering an eye injury which required several stitches. He should be available for selection for Saturday’s trip to Reading.

Gray admitted Wednesday failed to play their “maximum” against Birmingham, saying: “If teams are going to sit back and be deep, we have to find a way of breaking them down.

“We didn’t get a lucky break in the 18 yard box but we have got to keep believing. We are pleased to have kept a clean sheet but we are disappointed we have not scored and got the three points.”