Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland shrugs off cup dismay

Danny Graham
Danny Graham
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Owls goalkeeper Chris Kirkland admits he would have loved to have featured prominently in their FA Cup run.

Wednesday’s hopes of an all-Sheffield quarter-final in the tournament were ended by Charlton Athletic at Hillsborough last week.

Head coach Stuart Gray rested Kirkland, aged 32, throughout the Owls’ FA Cup push, preferring Arsenal loanee Damian Martinez in between the sticks. However, the Owls chief restored Kirkland to the starting line-up against Middlesbrough after Martinez sustained a shoulder injury in training.

On being left out of the cup tie, Kirkland told The Star: “I have missed a lot of games over my career but I respect Stu. He picks the team. I am not going to go in banging on his door. I’ve got too much respect for him to do that.

“He has been fantastic with me. Obviously, I would have loved to have played. I’m not saying we would have won if I had played. We might have lost four or five nil. I wanted to play but I haven’t got a problem with it.”

Kirkland, out of contract at Wednesday in the summer, has hinted he would be open to extending his stay.

“It is a fantastic club and hopefully I can stay for many more years,” he said. “It is not about individuals. It is about the team.

“Once we are safe and got enough points, I’m sure the club will sit down with us. It is not just me. There are a lot of players who are out of contract. It is not the right time to be talking about that.”