Sheffield Wednesday: Deehan to be Owls coach

John Deehan at Millwall with. left, Owls vice-chairman Paul Aldridge and, right, chairman Milan Mandaric
John Deehan at Millwall with. left, Owls vice-chairman Paul Aldridge and, right, chairman Milan Mandaric
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John Deehan is to join the Owls as a member of Stuart Gray’s coaching staff.

The experienced former striker and manager worked with Gray at Aston Villa.

They were joint caretaker managers there in 2002 after John Gregory left and before Graham Taylor was appointed.

Deehan, aged 56, was at last Saturday’s game against Rochdale and accompanied the Owls’ players and staff when they entered the stadium at Millwall on Tuesday.

His CV includes a year as assistant manager at Sheffield United, where he worked under Steve Bruce.

Wednesday have been two members of staff down since manager Dave Jones and his assistant, Paul Wilkinson, were axed.

Gray has already expressed his aim of adding to his coaching staff. This is in addition to Milan Mandaric’s target of bringing in a director of football.

At Villa under John Gregory, Gray was coach, Deehan assistant manager.

Deehan played as a striker for West Brom, Norwich, Ipswich, Manchester City and Barnsley. He managed Norwich - where he worked with Gary Megson - and Wigan, and has been director of football at Northampton (when Colin Calderwood was manager), Lincoln, Grimsby and, most recently, Plymouth.

Wednesday are also keeping up their efforts to sign players before tomorrow’s deadline and will have taken a keen interest in Sunderland’s match against Stoke last night, hoping that Connor Wickham would be returning to Hillsborough in time for Saturday’s game against Barnsley.

Gray has given an insight into Wickham’s recall by the Black Cats on Monday - described as a “bolt from the blue” by the Owls boss as he was preparing for the Millwall game.

“We’d gone out training and I got a phone call,” he said. “There was some technicality where they had to call Connor back before 12. I was under the impression that if they didn’t call him back he wouldn’t be eligible (for last night’s game). Fingers crossed we can get him back.”

Gray said he still believed Wickham could return this week: “Yes, very much so. It’s a case of being in dialogue with Gus (Poyet) and Sunderland, and Connor wants to come back. He was hugely disappointed he had to go back.”

The Owls boss also hopes that Glenn Loovens will be fit and thinks his calming influence was missed in the second-half flare-up at Millwall.

Gray said: “He had a bit of a hamstring, and felt it in the warm-up. It’s too early to judge yet. Fingers crossed he’ll be ok.”