Sheffield Wednesday: Gray heading for striker puzzle

Chris Maguire hits an injury-time winner against Barnsley - one of 10 goals he scored for the Owls this season
Chris Maguire hits an injury-time winner against Barnsley - one of 10 goals he scored for the Owls this season
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If Chris Maguire feels a little uncertain about his Hillsborough role next season then no-one can blame him.

Stuart Gray has made it plain that he wants to sign a striker who can score 20 goals in a season.

Maguire regards himself as primarily a central forward and thinks that basically he has been playing out of position as a wide midfield man, though he has not grumbled about it.

If the Owls manager gets his man, will that make it even harder for last season’s top scorer to land the role that he prefers?

Maguire could of course be used to partner a centre forward - but so far Gray has rarely used the Scot as even a second striker.

Loan front men Leon Best, Benik Afobe, Connor Wickham and Matty Fryatt have come and gone; options will continue to include Atdhe Nuhiu, Caolan Lavery, Michail Antonio and Jacques Maghoma, but Gray is sure to bring someone in again.

It is not the only part of the jigsaw puzzle that needs to be completed as Gray attempts to put together a team of his own.

When some players have departed and new faces are arriving, Maguire regards it as a normal part of the game.

But he is confident that the team spirit fostered by Gray can be maintained.

“All the boys have been together,” he said. “There’s a great tream spirit, Obviously things at will change during the summer but whoever comes in will be welcomed by the boys. and hopefully we can gel quite quickly and start next season on fire.

“Not only do you need good players but good team sprit as well. So if we can keep that to start with, I’m sure everything will fall into place.

“All the boys have been able to take banter and give it out. It’s a good dressing room to be in, and even when things aren’t going well, boys will tell you in the right way.”