Sheffield Wednesday: Owls boss sets a double challenge

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Stuart Gray is setting his Sheffield Wednesday squad a double target on the season’s run-in.

He wants them to beat last season’s points total and to finish as Yorkshire’s top club in The Championship.

“They are challenges to focus on in these final matches and if we’d got those extra two points at Forest, it would have helped a long way towards that,” said the Wednesday manager.

The Owls are currently on 49 points so would need to win three and draw one of their five remaining games to top last season’s 58.

They are six points behind Middlesbrough but two points ahead of Leeds and three ahead of Huddersfield.

“If you’d said to me before the game would I take the draw, no,” added Gray. “I saw them on Saturday (in a 2-1 home defeat by Millwall) and I knew they were there for the beating.

“When you go 3-1 up, you say go on, just pick them off.”

A surprise inclusion on the bench was defender Martin Taylor who has had a long lay-off through injuries.

The current injury problems had left the club short of centre halves. He was the only substitute defender.

Gray said: “He’d two and a half days training, so he was all right to be on the bench. It was just a case of needs must, with the injuries.”

Gray judged the centre back was not yet ready to start a game.

On Saturday the Owls are at home to Blackburn, the game kicking off like all the others at the weekend seven minutes later, at 3.07, in memory of the 25th amnniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. This will be preceded by a minute’s silence.

Leon Best, on loan from Blackburn, can’t play.