Sheffield Wednesday: Pearce adds praise to pot of Owls plaudits

Nottingham Forest boss Stuart Pearce is the latest boss to praise Stuart Gray and co.
Nottingham Forest boss Stuart Pearce is the latest boss to praise Stuart Gray and co.
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Praise may not equal points but there is plenty of plaudits being thrown about suggesting the Owls are heading in the right direction this season.

Wednesday suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday against Nottingham Forest.

But that did not stop Forest boss Stuart Pearce from waxing lyrical about the Owls and tipping them to trouble the top six this season.

Pearce became the latest opposition manager to pay compliments to Stuart Gray’s men, joining the likes of Ian Holloway, Aitor Karanka and Steve McClaren in doing so just a month into the campaign.

“I think they will be in and around the play-offs,” cult hero Pearce said of Wednesday following his side’s 1-0 win at Hillsborough.

“I think they’ll certainly be will into the top half of the league, probably the play-offs and maybe beyond that if they carry on and are injury free, which you have to be in this league.

“Stuart (Gray) is an outstanding manager and coach.

“On the run of play, I don’t know whether we were worthy winners.

“They make it very difficult. We knew we had our hands full.

“Our goalkeepers and defenders kept us in it at times.”

Pearce was full of praise for the Owls style of play on Saturday and expects his Forest side will be among a select group to pick up points at Hillsborough.

He said: “I think they have a definitive style of play which is very, very difficult to play against.

“I think they pressure really well. They’ve got a certain style of play.

“What you have to do when you come to places like Hillsborough is nullify the threat and put your body on the line, which we did.

“I think a lot of teams will come here and struggle to get points.”

The thoughts of the former England skipper have been shared with a number of his peers during the Owls’ somewhat surprisingly strong start to the season.

And it appears Wednesday are being marked out as ones to watch after the first month of the campaign.

Following the 1-1 draw between the sides, Millwall boss Holloway said: “Stuart’s team are so far away from where they were when he took over.”

And the sentiment was also echoed by Derby chief McClaren, speaking after his side’s goalless draw with the Owls.

“Sheffield Wednesday are a far better team than last season,” he said.

“I don’t think many teams will come here and collect points.

“They’re a tough opponent and we found that out.”