Stuart Gray says his Owls team let themselves down against Charlton, but has vowed to pick them up quickly following their FA Cup exit.
The Sheffield Wednesday head coach cut a frustrated figure when addressing the media after their 2-1 defeat to the Addicks in the fifth round of Britain’s oldest cup competition.
Some fans booed Wednesday off at half-time after a first-half performance which Gray described as the “worst” since he joined the club back in December 2012.
The Owls improved after the interval but Simon Church’s header denied Sheffield an all-Steel City quarter-final at Bramall Lane, leaving Wednesday to focus on their Championship programme.
Gray said: “The players know they let themselves down. You cannot play games and just expect to win them by turning up in the second half. The players have got to look at themselves in the mirror. Our job will be to pick them up when we are back in training.
“The players have got to give the crowd a lift. If they see the effort, commitment and desire, the fans will back them. They deserved every reaction they got at half-time coming off because they knew they were way short of the standards they set for themselves.”
While he accepts Charlton were worthy winners, Gray has called for goal-line technology to be brought in at Championship level and in cup competitions.
He questioned whether substitute Atdhe Nuhiu’s 73rd-minute header had crossed the line after the ball came back off the inside of the post. But referee Mark Clattenburg let play continue after goalkeeper Ben Hamer reacted brilliantly to gather the ball one-handed.
“They’ve obviously got goal-line technology in the Premier League and when you’re talking about the FA Cup, maybe they could [have it], or even in the Championship,” said Gray. “The officials make what they think are the correct decisions. I felt by the crowd’s reaction and a few of my players’ that it had gone over the line.
“I was amazed to see the goalkeeper then laid on top of the ball, I was expecting a goal, but it wasn’t to be.”