Sheffield Wednesday head coach Stuart Gray has vowed to pick up his players after their 7-0 thrashing to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup.
The Owls bowed out at the third round stage of the competition after seven second-half goals by Frank Lampard (2), Edin Dzeko (2), Jesus Navas, Yaya Toure and Jose Pozo at the Etihad Stadium last night.
Kamil Zayatte was given his marching orders prior to City’s fourth goal as the cup holders and Premier League champions sentenced Wednesday to their first away defeat of the season.
But Gray is confident he will get an instant response, starting with the trip to managerless Cardiff City on Saturday.
He said: “We frustrated them [City] in the first half. If anything, I thought we dominated possession but you see what happens when you make mistakes. You get punished by world class players.
“I think two out of their first three goals were when we were on the attack. It’s frustrating and to get a man sent off was a bit of a double whammy. I think we will lose Kamil [Zayatte] for three games.
“It just showed the gulf between the Championship and one of the top four teams in the Premier League is huge.”
Gray felt the defining moment of the contest was when Gary Madine missed an early chance to put Wednesday ahead.
“I said to the players when we got the team-sheet in how much respect City have shown us by the quality of the side he put out,” he said. “They are top players and sometimes you’ve got to admire what they do. We can learn a lot from a 7-0 defeat individually and collectively. It’s just a shock to concede seven after keeping seven clean sheets this season.
“We always knew it was going to be a difficult game as soon as the draw was made. But our bread and butter is the league. The important thing is we regroup, dust ourselves down and get ready for Cardiff. I’ve got to pick the players but I’ve got no doubt I will get a response.”
The Owls chief paid tribute to the 5,400 travelling fans after the heaviest loss of his reign.
Gray, who says Kieran Lee could be involved this weekend following an injury lay-off, said: “I can’t thank the fans enough for coming out in their numbers. They have been unbelievable home and away. We are just disappointed we couldn’t get them a goal and to concede seven goals.”