Sheffield Wednesday: Gray on Manager of Month list

Stuart Gray is a Championship Manager of the Month nominee
Stuart Gray is a Championship Manager of the Month nominee
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Owls boss Stuart Gray and keeper Chris Kirkland have been shortlisted for Football League awards after the club’s rise up the Championship table.

But Gray is now trying to make sure that the Owls’ unbeaten run of 10 matches continues despite injury problems.

Oguchi Onyewu, the latest centre half to be affected, is set to miss Saturday’s game at Reading, and a defender is on the loan wanted list as well as at least one striker.

Gray is among four nominations for the Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Month award for January, and Kirkland has three rivals for the player title. Winners are announced tomorrow.

January saw the Owls thrash Leeds 6-0, beat Blackpool 2-0 and pick up good away points at Burnley and Millwall. Gray sealed his appointment as head coach by keeping up the club’s revival.

Also nominated are Forest’s Billy Davies, Leicester’s Nigel Pearson and QPR’s Harry Redknapp.

The League citatations say that Gray “put together his job application in exemplary manner” in an unbeaten month.

Davies is praised for his tactical acumen in sending on three subs who all scored in a 4-2 comeback win against Watford, and for an haul of eight points out of 12.

Pearson scooped a maximum of 15 points as Leicester moved eight points clear at the top.

Redknapp is said to have instilled confidence in his players as they won four games during the month.

Owls chairman Milan Mandaric, who confirmed that Onyewu will miss Saturday’s game because of his calf injury, said that the club are trying to bring in “two or three” players after the emergency loan market opens tomorrow, but Glenn Loovens could be fit.

Onyewu went off in stoppage time of the 1-0 win against Barnsley because of a calf injury. Loovens missed the game owing to a hamstring injury but was close to fitness and could return to partner Miguel Llera.