Sheffield Wednesday: Owls boss Gray’s fears over loan pair Drenthe and McGugan

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Head coach Stuart Gray fears Sheffield Wednesday will struggle to extend the loan deals of Lewis McGugan and Royston Drenthe.

McGugan and Drenthe are set to return to Watford and Reading respectively following the Owls’ trip to Wigan Athletic at the end of the month. McGugan’s loan deal expires on New Year’s Day while Drenthe’s runs out on January 2.

Lewis McGugan on his debut

Lewis McGugan on his debut

The duo have added creativity and flair to Wednesday’s midfield and are poised to feature at Blackburn Rovers tomorrow. But Gray admits the players and their parent clubs will have the final say on whether they will remain at Hillsborough.

The head coach said: “You want to keep your best players. We are delighted with what Lewis has done. He has given us a lift.

“It will be down to his and Watford’s decision. It’s early days yet.

“With Royston, it’s whether he wants to stay and whether Reading will allow him to stay.

Owls' Royston Drenthe

Owls' Royston Drenthe

“Hopefully we can keep Lewis and Royston under the radar a little bit. Unfortunately, when they are not your players, you always run the risk of losing them because they are playing well for us. If suddently their parent clubs have problems at their end with injuries or think they are in good form, they can recall them back.

“We have got Gary Madine on loan at Coventry but have got a 24-hour recall clause in the deal. That’s how the loan market works. We tend to get players match fit, as we proved with Connor Wickham last season. We got him match fit, scoring lots of goals and suddenly Sunderland called him back.”

McGugan has started the last two matches and Gray claims there is more to come from the 26-year-old.

“We will see more of Lewis the fitter he gets,” he stressed.

“He is getting to know the other player’s strengths.

“He’s got a good range of passing, with either his right or left foot. He’s looked fitter and stronger. We are grateful Watford have allowed him to come out.

“He’s a quality player. He’s got 40 odds goals in his career. Now Lewis will be looking to add to his goals tally.”