Sheffield Wednesday: Gray’s call as Connor misses out

Connor Wickham can't play against Macclesfield.
Connor Wickham can't play against Macclesfield.
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Caretaker Owls manager Stuart Gray has called on the team to prove that they can cope without in-form striker Connor Wickham, starting at Macclesfield Town tomorrow.

Wickham, who has claimed seven goals in nine starts since joining Wednesday on a temporary basis, cannot feature in this weekend’s FA Cup third-round tie at Moss Rose as Sunderland have refused permission for the England under-21 international to play because they do not want him cup-tied.

Only eight players, including Wickham, have found the back of the net for Wednesday all season and Gray is acutely aware they must address this issue in the second half of the season. He said: “Everybody has got to start chipping in with goals. We can’t just keep relying on Connor because if we do then teams will start doubling or trebling up on him.”

Wednesday, in 20th position in the Championship after their win over Blackpool on New Year’s Day, remain in talks with Wolves and Arsenal over extending Roger Johnson and Damian Martinez’s loan deals respectively. Johnson has already been ruled out of tomorrow’s tie.