Sheffield Wednesday: Gray plans to rotate squad

Adedeji Oshilaja can play in more than one position
Adedeji Oshilaja can play in more than one position
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Owls boss Stuart Gray is planning to rotate his squad thanks to the extra strength provided by his loan signings.

Three games in six days will still test resources but he is confident that he now has the scope to make any changes he feels necesssary.

Gray is almost spoilt for choice in central defence, in comparison to the time when Jose Semedo had to play there and Miguel Llera was the only available recognised centre-half.

But new boys Adedeji Oshilaja and Sam Hutchinson plus fit-again Glenn Loovens are all contention for tonight’s game against Derby.

The fact that Oshilaja is cup-tied for next Monday’s date with Charlton will influence Gray’s thinking.

Benik Afobe had already added to the forward strength, Leon Best has come in as well and Michail Antonio is knocking on the door, while Gary Gardner may make a midfield debut tonight.

Gray said: “I’m delighted with the boys we’ve got in. They’ve settled in very quickly. The most important thing now is they need to get football time. I think the other players needed new faces to come in as well. We’re asking the boys to go week in and week, and put on great performances, which they have done. You’ve got to maintain that and keep that enthusiasm high.

“You’ve also got that bit of competition. Lads are looking over their shoulder. If they don’t do it, they know somebody else is waiting.

“Every player has to play his part. We’ve got three games in six days. I’ve said to the players it’s not the team that starts it’s the team that finishes that’s important.

“But you’re going to have to rotate the squad. A lot of players will be getting a lot of football.

“I’m pleased with the loans I’ve got in. They’ll have a big part to play as well. They’re good personalities, good lads.”

Gray sees Oshilaja and Hutchinson as being able to do a job at full-back or in midfield if necessary:

“It’s good to have that sort of player who can do a job in several spots,” he said. “All the players we’ve brought in are very good footballers.”