Sheffield Wednesday: Continuity in selection has boosted Owls

Owls skipper Glenn Loovens with Liam Palmer
Owls skipper Glenn Loovens with Liam Palmer
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Why have Sheffield Wednesday been so strong defensively throughout the 2014/15 season?

Head coach Stuart Gray claims continuity in selection has been one of the main factors behind their success.

“It’s been important to have a settled back line, understanding each other’s game,” said Gray, who has watched his side record 14 shut outs in all competitions this campaign.

“I felt with the little triangle of Glenn Loovens, Tom Lees and Keiren Westwood, you have got voices, experience and people who read the game well.

“I think I can count on one hand how many mistakes they have made this season. They have been very consistent, and set the standards high. One thing we do know, you are probably guaranteed a seven or eight out of 10 every week from them. When one makes a mistake it just shocks everyone, because we are not used to it.

“Last season, we probably had too much inconsistency at the back, we didn’t have a settled back four, and had far too many centre-halves in the treatment room.”

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Skipper Loovens is one of a number of players who is hoping to extend his stay with the Owls. The Dutch defender’s contract runs out in the summer.

Gray conceded: “I think the players have got every right to know what the future holds. At the moment, we have quite a number of players coming to the end of their contracts.

“I would like to get players tied down. It’s less hard work for me in the summer, I believe in the players and have every confidence in them.

“And I think certain players deserve that reward too, for what they have acheived.”

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