SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Not Both-ered, says strike ace

Good start: Chris O'Grady has helped the Owls to make an impact
Good start: Chris O'Grady has helped the Owls to make an impact
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CHRIS O’Grady is keen to show that for him and the Owls the start to the season has been no flash in the pan.

The striker contributed three goals and some robust form towards the club’s unbeaten five-game start to the campaign.

It ended in a 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace - where O’Grady was taken off in the 61st minute.

But some success in the Championship has given him a taste for more - and he is undeterred by the knowledge that the club have added a fifth striker, Jay Bothroyd, to their attacking options.

O’Grady would love it if the Owls go top by winning at Brighton tonight, however brief their reign there may be, with most teams playing tomorrow.

“That’s where we want to be,” he said. “It will be nice to go ahead of the teams who follow us on Saturday.

“We want to be up there and stay there, rather than being slightly down and trying to catch up. Hopefully we can do that.

“We go into each game believing we can win.

“We’ve also go some local, decent games coming up, where the fans will be behind us. We’ll be confident of getting wins.”

And O’Grady’s confidence in his own ability is unshaken despite the arrival of Bothroyd to join competition that already existed in Gary Madine, Rodri and Chris Maguire: “I’m pretty happy. I’m hungry and I want to carry on and not rest on my laurels.

“It’s been a decent start for me, a decent start for the team. We want to keep building on that, rather than just consolidating and thinking we have had a good little period.

“Competition can only be good for the team. If you’re not playing, then other people must be performing. You have to wait for a chance then take it and don’t look back. I’ve been at teams where there’s been unhealthy rivalry, where players are wanting others not to do well.

“The key is getting behind each other and wanting people to perform - and if they don’t, then being ready to force your way into the team.”

But, after tonight, he could be back trying to break into the side, with Bothroyd possibly making a debut alongside Rodri at the Amex Stadium.

Injuries to defenders have not helped Dave Jones’ preparations and attempts to tighten the team up.

O’Grady said: “We have identified where the bulk of the goals are coming from - basically from crosses. We have focused more on not letting people get them in, and defending them properly when they do come in. Everyone has a responsibility.”

Jones, who has been in the loan market for a midfield player, was last night again strongly linked with youngster Ross Barkley from Everton.

Jason Koumas is still training at Middlewood but ex-Blade James Beattie has left and is now looking for another club.

Teams and ref

OWLS (possible): Kirkland; Mattock, Taylor, Llera, Jones; Antonio, Semedo, McCabe, J Johnson; Bothroyd, Rodri (4-4-2).

SEAGULLS (possible): Kuszczak; Bruno, Greer, El-Abd, Bridge; Bridcutt; Dicker, Hammond; Barnes, Mackail-Smith, LuaLua (4-1-2-3).

Nigel Miller (Co Durham). Gave the penalty, for a foul by John Bostock, at Chesterfield which condemned Wednesday to a 1-0 defeat in Gary Megson’s penultimate match as Owls manager. Miller’s last game was Sheffield United’s 5-3 home win against Bournemouth on September 1.