Sheffield Wednesday column: The one thing on Stuart Gray’s Christmas list

Atdhe Nuhiu
Atdhe Nuhiu
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Stuart Gray need not have bothered writing a letter to Father Christmas this year – everyone knows what is at the top of his wishlist.

In fact, if the Owls boss was to get his most sought-after item, he’d probably be content enough to find nothing else under his tree next week.

Last weekend’s defeat to Wolves was frustrating to say the least.

For the umpteenth time this term, Wednesday created plenty of chances, were in full control of the game and ultimately failed to make it all count by the final whistle.

And one of the most major characteristics of the Championship came to bite them on the backside – take your chances or be punished – as second-best Wolves got the goal they needed.

What the game and the outcome of it only highlighted further was the Owls’ desperation for another attacking option.

And that is all Gray wants for Christmas.

Tomorrow at Fulham, he will look on enviously as old mate Kit Symons sends out on-form Hugo Rodallega and £11m striker Ross McCormack, just as he no doubt did as Blackburn fielded Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede against Wednesday a fortnight ago.

Given the self-imposed financial restraints on the Owls, such starry names are beyond Gray.

But a striker who could come in and push for double figures in the second half of the season would work wonders for Wednesday’s hopes.

A new fresh and confident face could even help bring out the best in the current misfiring forwards at Hillsborough.

Gray’s men have coped well without victories, maintaining a solid midtable position with the relegation zone never too close in the rear view mirro.

The nature of this season’s Championship is a big reason for that where few sides have put any real strong runs of form together.

It means that with an injection of goals, those play-off aspirations that are continually discussed by the players, aren’t that unrealistic after all.

The solid base is there, it just needs the shining star at the top to finish it off.

It might not appear for Stuart Gray next Thursday, but he will be hoping it does as soon as the New Year rolls in.