Sheffield Wednesday: Owls boss Stuart Gray looks to Toon Army for inspiration

Owls boss Stuart Gray
Owls boss Stuart Gray
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Stuart Gray is confident Sheffield Wednesday will come through their sticky patch, citing Newcastle United as an example of how fortunes can quickly change.

Newcastle failed to win any of their first eight Premier League matches and a section of their supporters called for manager Alan Pardew to be sacked last month.

But owner Mike Ashley resisted the temptation to dispense with Pardew’s services and five consecutive victories have transformed the mood in the north east.

Newcastle have moved up to eighth in the table, seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Wednesday have dropped to 13th in the Championship in the wake of a nine-match winless run. But Gray believes they can get back on track, starting in today’s lunch-time meeting at Huddersfield Town, kick-off 12.15pm.

He said: “We have lost three and drawn six of the last nine games. I have every confidence in the boys that we will turn it around. Look at Alan Pardew at Newcastle. They couldn’t buy a win and all of a sudden they have gone on a fantastic run. These runs happen in the Championship. It’s gone on too long for our liking.

“We have created several opportunities to win games but we have not converted and that’s why I have ended up bringing Gary Taylor-Fletcher and Lewis McGugan. We have to work the keepers more.”

It is no secret Gray is keen to strengthen his strikeforce. He thought he had signed a new striker earlier this week but the deal collapsed after the player refused to go out on loan.

Buoyed by the capture of goal-scoring midfielder Lewis McGugan, Gray is urging his side to be ruthless in the final third.

He said: “We aren’t killing teams off. There have been four games where we have been led 1-0 but needed to get the second goal. We haven’t taken our chances and allowed teams back into games.

“The Championship is tough. We have just not got that second goal to give us that bit of confidence and quality on the ball to kill teams off.”