Sheffield Wednesday: New pitch will pay dividends, says May

Jeremy Helan takes a breather following a gruelling workout in Portugal
Jeremy Helan takes a breather following a gruelling workout in Portugal
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There was a glint in striker Stevie May’s eye when asked to pass comment on Sheffield Wednesday’s newly-laid pitch at Hillsborough.

Zero tears were shed by the Owls’ players or medical staff when the playing surface was dug up at the end of April.

Many observers felt the poor condition of the pitch contributed to the team’s below-par results in their own backyard last season. They only triumphed five times at home, scoring a meagre 16 goals.

But there will be no excuses this time around as chairman Dejphon Chansiri has invested over a £1m into a new state-of-the-art Desso pitch.

And May is relishing the prospect of strutting his stuff on their turf, starting against St Mirren in Wednesday’s final pre-season fixture on Saturday, August 1.

The Scotland international told The Star: “It’s going to be a lot more fun playing at home this season.

“At times, it was difficult last year. You were sometimes concentrating more on trying to control the ball as opposed to looking up and seeing where the next pass or shot came from.

“It was tough playing on it but we played on the surface more than any other team. We maybe should have made it an advantage. We were used to it and maybe could have played in a different way to what we did do.

“A new pitch will help everyone and especially the way we want to play. It was definitely needed because it would have been really tough to play this way on the pitch we had last season.”

Carlos Carvalhal’s men take on his old club Sporting Clube de Braga in a friendly tonight as part of their five-day warm weather training camp in Portugal.

May added: “Pre-season is sometimes not pretty but you need to do it. It has gone well so far.”

*The Star is making a donation to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice as part of an agreement with Sheffield Wednesday over coverage of their pre-season trip to Portugal.

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