Sheffield Wednesday: Owls ace pays with his place

Michail Antonio against Charlton
Michail Antonio against Charlton
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Stuart Gray has pointed the finger at the way his team lost a two-goal lead in the Charlton game and revealed that he took Michail Antonio off to give a message to the players.

Antonio was not injured when left the field in the last minute of normal time in the first half, two minutes after an error by him resulted in the Addicks equalising.

Gray explained: “He’s had a lot of footbasll recently, and after the shift he put in at Bournemouth it just wasn’t going for him.

“I could have waited until half-time but I just wanted to get a message on to the players that if you’re not at it, you’ll be off.”

Gray pinpointed misplaced passed by Antonio and Atdhe Nuhiu that led to Charlton goals - after Nuhiu and Chris Maguire had put the Owls 2-0 up inside eight minutes.

But his criticism was aimed at the team in general when he said: “After two well-taken goals, we suddenly thought it was going to be a bit easy. We started running with the ball and were poor in decision-making and passing, and it gave Charlton a bit of a lift.”

“I’m so disappointed, because I’m talking about three goals that have gone in, and I can’t remember Kirky (Chris Kirkland) having a save to make. That’s happening on a regular basis.

“I knew people would be thinking once you’re mathematically safe you down tools - well, the first eight minutes proved that wrong, I just wanted us to go on and get more goals, not to chase it, just to keep playing and passing.”

Gray explained that Liam Palmer stayed off at half-time because of a groin injury. It is not yet known whether he will be fit for the Bolton game.

But Lewis Buxton’s knee injury will keep him out for the last two matches.

Glenn Loovens is having an injection to cure a back-related hamstring problem, with a view to him training on Thursday.