Sheffield Wednesday: Lavery backs Owls goal-shy strikers

Fit-again Owls ace Caolan Lavery. Picture: Andrew Roe
Fit-again Owls ace Caolan Lavery. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Caolan Lavery has leapt to the defence of Sheffield Wednesday’s misfiring forward line, insisting: “Everyone has to chip in with goals.”

Stuart Gray’s troops have failed to hit the back of the net in six out of their last seven Championship matches.

Owls Stevie May on his Wednesday debut

Owls Stevie May on his Wednesday debut

Front duo Atdhe Nuhiu and Stevie May, who became the first Owls player to win a full cap for Scotland since Jim McCalliog in October 1968 in last Tuesday’s friendly defeat to England, have bagged half of Wednesday’s 12 league goals. However, neither Nuhiu or May have got on the score-sheet since September 30.

But Lavery, fit-again following a knee injury, refuses to blame Nuhiu and May for their shortcomings in front of goal and has told The Star: “The gaffer works with us all the time on finishing.

“We do weekly crossing and finishing sessions. It’s not just the strikers who get involved. It’s central midfielders making late runs into the box and even defenders sometimes. It’s definitely a squad thing.

“Although it’s the strikers job to score, the gaffer mentioned it at the start of the season that he wanted more goals from the rest of the team rather than just relying on the forward players.”

Owls Atdhe Nuhiu can't believe he didn't get a second half penalty

Owls Atdhe Nuhiu can't believe he didn't get a second half penalty

Captain Glenn Loovens echoed Lavery’s sentiments, saying: “They are good strikers and proved that at the beginning of the season.

“Sometimes you need luck and maybe if we get a scrappy win all of a sudden that belief comes back and so does confidence.”

Northern Ireland Under-21 international Lavery, who is set to feature in today’s friendly development match with Chesterfield at Middlewood Road, kick-off 11.30am, wants Wednesday to be more ruthless in the final third.

“Everyone has to chip in; we just need to show a little more composure in front of goal,” said Lavery, who was an unused substitute in Saturday’s goalless draw at Huddersfield Town. “It’s not getting the lads down but we know we can do better. It is not like we are playing badly.

“It is just a matter of time before it clicks, we score a few goals and get back to getting three points instead of drawing all these games.”

With Gary Taylor-Fletcher having returned to parent club Leicester City following the expiry of his loan deal, Gray is keen to strengthen his attacking options before the emergency loan window shuts on Thursday.

Taylor-Fletcher made four first-team appearances, including two substitute appearances, scoring no goals.