Sheffield Wednesday: Palmer is top for consistency

Liam Palmer has set the right example, says Stuart Gray
Liam Palmer has set the right example, says Stuart Gray
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Owls boss Stuart Gray has every confidence that Lewis Buxton, Miguel Llera and Liam Palmer can handle their back-four tasks.

Buxton will be playing centre half at Forest tonight while his usual right-back spot goes to Palmer, and Llera, the club’s only fit, recognised centre back, will be making his first start in 10 games.

The injured Adedeji Oshilaja (thigh) would have been a contender in either department, and Palmer’s switch affects midfield, possibly meaning a start for Giles Coke.

“All I ask of players is to give 100 per cent - and I know they will give me that,” said Gray.

“Liam has probably been our most consistent player; I think he’s played more minutes than anybody else. and credit to him.

“This time last year he was on loan at Tranmere; their season was coming to an end and he came to train with us for the last 10 days. I rememeber saying to Dave (Jones) ‘I think we’ve got a bit of a player here.’

“After the first 10 minutes at Leicester I thought we dominated midfield with his energy. Then when he goes to full back he gives everything. I keep asking players to push themnselves to exhaustion, and Liam is the prime example.”

For Llera it is another chance to stake his claim and improve his chances of a new contract. “We have too many injuries,” he said. “I feel sorry for those players. From the first day I signed here, two and a half years ago, I don’t think I have missed a training session.

“My situation is to come back and play. But always a player wants to play when everybody is healthy, not because somebody is injured.”

The Spaniard added: “I played with Lewis at Leicester; I thought we did pretty well. I think if we play together at Forest, we will be fine; we will have good communication.”

Llera does not think he has anything to prove: “I just have to keep going like I have done for two and a half years. I feel part of this club. I would like to finish my career here. It all depends.

“We will see what happens in the future; now, we have six games left and we want to do as well as we can, as a team and as individuals.”