Sheffield Wednesday: Owls need to keep faith with misfiring May

Stevie May
Stevie May
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The secret is out.

Aberdeen are closely monitoring Stevie May’s situation at Sheffield Wednesday and are exploring the possibility of signing the striker on a temporary basis for the 2015/16 campaign.

But contrary to reports, The Star understands the Dons, lying second in the Scottish Premier League, have yet to make a formal approach regarding May.

Nonetheless, there are big question marks surrounding May’s future at Hillsborough. The 22-year-old was left out of Wednesday’s starting line-up for their final three fixtures following an ineffective performance against Brentford, with head coach Stuart Gray preferring Caolan Lavery up front.

Gray possesses a plethora of striking options. As well as Lavery and May, the Owls chief can also call upon Atdhe Nuhiu and Sergiu Bus. Despite that, Gray has stated his intention to recruit a new centre forward as he seeks to coax more goals out of all departments of his team.

Since arriving from St Johnstone and penning a four-year contract last August, May has failed to justify his £800,000 price tag, hitting just seven goals in 43 appearances. It has been a transitional year for May and it remains to be seen whether Gray still sees him as part of his long-term plans or is open to the idea of letting him go elsewhere.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray during the Sky Bet Championship match at Vicarage Road, Watford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 2, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Watford. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray during the Sky Bet Championship match at Vicarage Road, Watford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 2, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Watford. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.

“Looking back over the season, if my finishing had been as good as I know it can be and has been in the past, I could have scored a lot more goals,” May told me last month. “There has been a lot of chances which I have missed that I probably should have scored. Sometimes you hit form and they go in. There’s no doubt I could be well into double figures.

“Sometimes things go for you and you’ve got that confidence. Confidence is a big thing for a striker. You try and let the chances that you miss not affect you and I always do. I try and get in the right positions.

“Half the battle is working hard. If you give everything, the goals will come eventually and I still think that they will.”

Few would criticise May’s industry. When on song, he is a handful and his ability to run in behind frightens opponents.

Goal....Stevie May celebrates his match winner and his second

Goal....Stevie May celebrates his match winner and his second

He has struggled to find the back of the net on a consistent basis since moving south of the border and, even in recent months, hold down a regular starting spot but Gray is convinced Wednesday will see the best of May next season.

I have heard nothing to suggest May is unhappy or wants to quit English football. It has taken him a while to acclimatise and get to grips with the rigours of the Championship, but there is no reason why he can’t turnaround his fortunes.

It is easy to forget that May completed his switch on the opening day of the campaign, meaning he missed out on Wednesday’s pre-season programme and the opportunity to bond with his new teammates. He had to start from scratch. It was all a big learning curve for May and there will be fewer surprises for him next time around.

Players do recover from slow starts at new clubs. Look at how Manchester United pair David De Gea and Marouane Fellaini have rebuilt their careers at Old Trafford. De Gea and Fellaini silenced their critics after poor debut seasons. It does happen.

May is a goal-scorer. He plundered 67 goals in 118 career appearances for St Johnstone. That is an impressive strike rate whatever level you play at and nobody can take that away from him.

May has yet to fulfil his potential in England but Owls should not give up on him.

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