Sheffield Wednesday: Gray seeks improvement

Dismay for Wednesday and joy for Watford after Gabriele Angella scores the Hornets' first goal
Dismay for Wednesday and joy for Watford after Gabriele Angella scores the Hornets' first goal
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Stuart Gray admits that he was shocked by the Owls’ 4-1 defeat against Watford.

He learned how the game was progressing while he was at his son’s wedding reception in Brighton and he watched a recording of the game soon after it had finished.

The Owls boss is unsure whether his absence affected the team but has drawn firm conclusions about what went wrong on the pitch.

Gray has held a debriefing meeting with the players and hopes it will help towards more typical form at Leicester tomorrow.

He said the wedding was enjoyable but he was disappointed to find out what was happening at Hillsborough: “Information was coming through that we were losing, 1-0 then 2-0. It was a wonderful day for my son but a disappointing day regarding the result.

“We got sucked into thinking we could play square, square, backwards and we didn’t play forward to unbalance them. They got men behind the ball, and we got done on the counter-attack. We had two or three players who have been our strength defensively who were disappointing, with the goals we conceded.”

Gray picked the team and conducted preparations, including tactics and set plays.

Asked whether he felt his absence may have affected some players’ minds, he said: “I don’t know, I was just shocked the we conceded four goals in such a manner,

“I saw Watford play at Doncaster, I knew they were a good, compact, footballing side with good players, some of whom can play Serie A. Deeney up front is a handful. But I think we got sucked into thinking ‘it’s going to be easy.’ We had a lot of possession, without hurting, We didn’t play scoring football. What I mean by that is that we got into several good positions but as I’ve said to the players when we’ve looked at the DVD, we didn’t take opportunies to cross.

“If any team gives you the opportunity to put the ball in the box, take it, because you don’t know what’s going to happen: there could be a penalty, or a slip. It could drop to us, or go for a corner, I keep saying to the players: ‘Put it in there.’ We didn’t do that, but we still had some scoring chances.”