Dom Howson column: Striker May stand out but it’s goals that are the important thing

Owls forward Stevie May
Owls forward Stevie May
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Stevie May will always stand out in a crowd with his bushy long hair, grizzly beard and the multiple tattoos that decorate his arms.

But people should not be fooled by his rock star looks. May wants to be remembered for his performances on the field.

It has taken the striker time to adapt to his new surroundings. It is never easy when you move to a new country and league.

You could have forgiven May for starting to feel sorry for himself following his lean spell in front of goal. He plundered 27 goals for St Johnstone last season but he has snatched at a number of presentable opportunities since moving south of the border. Trips to Cardiff City and Leeds United could have yielded more points for Wednesday had May shown greater composure and taken his chances. But the truth is the Owls’ defence and midfield need to take the pressure off the likes of May and Atdhe Nuhiu by contributing more in the final third themselves.

Stuart Gray made a subtle tactical change against Wigan, with Nuhiu playing off May. It proved a clever piece of management as the pair dovetailed brilliantly for the first of May’s two goals.

Former Owls great David Hirst said: “Stevie is very exciting in front of goal and that’s where we all want to see him. It’s wrong for him to go looking for the ball. If the midfield aren’t supplying, that’s their problem. It the striker is not up front, that’s two problems.” Well put Mr Hirst.

It is great that May works so hard outside of the box. Whatever role the Scotland international is asked to do, you know he will do it to the best of his ability. But, as May underlined last weekend, he can do some serious damage in the penalty area.

The beauty of May is that he is hungry to improve and won’t let success go to his head. You get the sense he will still remain a grounded individual whatever he goes on to achieve in the sport.

In an interview earlier this year, he said: “Since I was 11, my mum and dad have followed me all over the country to watch me play football. They have both made tremendous sacrifices to make sure I was given the best possible opportunity to fulfil any signs of early potential.”

Very few footballers acknowledge those who helped them fulfil their potential. But May is a humble person and that’s why everybody will continue to root for him.