Sheffield Wednesday: Deehan to assist strikers

John Deehan
John Deehan
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John Deehan has a wide-ranging brief as the new member of the Hillsborough staff.

He will not only coach the strikers but also help by watching other clubs and players and using his contacts and experience.

Gray, who worked with Deehan at Aston Villa, explained: “I’ve got the title head coach but my strength is on the training pitch with the players, making them better individually and collectively and preparing the team for games.

“Dixie can deal with all the other stuff off the pitch, which I’ll have a say in and be involved in, like scouting, covering games and invidual players we want to recruit, and dealing with agents.

“He has bags of experience, knowledge and contacts; he’s a valuable member of the team; I value his opinion as well.

“Bully (coach Lee Bullen) can learn from it; we can all learn from each other.”

Deehan, aged 56, has long had the nickname Dixie, after Everton’s legendary forward Dixie Dean, because he was a top-flight striker.

So with his playing, managerial and coaching background, he will pay attention to the Wednesday front men. Gray added: “He’ll pass on his advice. He was a top striker.

“Nothing has changed regarding scoring.

“It was the same when Dixie played, except that there was a lace in the ball!

“You have to make that movement and attack the ball.

“He can pass on his knowledge to Nuhiu, Lavery, Afobe, Antonio, Maguire...there is no substitute for experience.”

Gray added: “Bully will be between the first team and development squad.

“He is gaining experience but is a valuable member of the staff; it’s a important role.”