Sheffield Wednesday: Striker poser for Owls boss

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Owls boss Stuart Gray lavished praise on his side following their comprehensive 3-0 victory over Notts County last night.

Gray’s men strolled into the second round of the Capital One Cup after goals either side of half-time from Jacques Maghoma, Gary Madine and Atdhe Nuhiu. Maghoma’s opener came after just 90 seconds.

Sheffield Wednesday's Gary Madine celebrates scoring the second goal during the Capital One Cup match at Hillsborough

Sheffield Wednesday's Gary Madine celebrates scoring the second goal during the Capital One Cup match at Hillsborough

The Wednesday said he was delighted with the speed of their passing and movement off the ball.

“I was pleased with the overall team performance and the way we moved the ball and created chances,” he said. “It was a fantastic and a great performance in all departments.

“These games can be a potential banana skin but I thought the timing of the first goal was good for us.

“I told the players beforehand to start brightly and to make sure we come out of the traps quickly.

“I just sensed in the warm up that they would play well. They were excellent and zipped the ball about and took that into the game.”

The draw for the next round of the competition takes place tonight and Gray hopes they will be handed another Hillsborough tie.

He confirmed the club discovered on Monday night that new forward Stevie May would not be allowed to feature against County because he was serving a one-match suspension for two yellow cards he accrued in St Johnstone’s charge to the Scottish Cup final last year.

Gray admitted: “Stevie was going to start. You’ve got to have competition and both strikers scored so it will be a difficult decision to make on Saturday against Derby.”

He stressed: “We need competition. Chris Kirkland got a clean sheet, the back four looked solid and compact and I’m a great believer in keeping clean sheets. Derby have had two victories and clean sheets but we will go into the game full of confidence and knowing we are creating chances. The boys are buoyant and playing with enthusiasm and quality.”

Despite recording back-to-back victories, Gray is refusing to get carried away.

“It’s a nice feeling to have won two games but there is a long, long way to go,” he said. “We’ve started brightly but we have got to make sure we continue that.”