Sheffield Wednesday: Owls must wait in Wickham bid

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Wednesday will make a fresh attempt to sign Connor Wickham on loan next week after being unable to prise him out of Sunderland before the January transfer window closed last night.

The Owls also had their way to Matty Fryatt barred by Hull.

It was a quiet deadline day at Hillsborough but the club did bring in Benik Afobe on loan from Arsenal on Thursday.

Stuart Gray had wanted to borrow two strikers if possible and will hope to do business when the market for emergency loans opens next Friday.

Sunderland decided not to let Wickham leave yesterday, having recalled him earlier in the week.

It dashed the Owls’ hopes of him making a swift return to Hillsborough after the Black Cats needed him to be on their bench for the game against Stoke on Wednesday.

Similarly, Hull boss Steve Bruce hung on to Fryatt, who could be needed by the Tigers for their FA Cup fifth-round tie at Brighton on Monday. February 17.

His smartly taken goals earned Hull their 2-0 Cup win against Southend last Saturday, and their two recently-signed forwards, Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic, are both cup-tied.

Wickham and Fryatt were goalscoring partners with the Owls but today Afobe is hoping to make his debut and to make an impact in the South Yorkshire derby against Barnsley. Wednesday remain thin in the striker department, however.

Gray acknowledges the threat posed today by Chris O’Grady, the ex-Owls striker who has notched 10 goals for Barnsley.

“Chris only knows one way way - to give 100 per cent, and he’s a strong boy,” said Gray. “He’s their top scorer. We have to keep him quiet.

“But I’m more concerned with what we do, and if we put on the home performances like we have been doing, I’m confident we can get three points.

“I’ve said to the players: just show the 100 per cent commitment and determination shown in previous games and play well. We’ll have a good turn-out; we’re full of confidence; we’re nine unbeaten and it’s our patch. We want to put on a show.

“The important thing is application; then the result will take care of itself.”

Arron Jameson’s loan at Bradford has been extended to the end of the season. The keeper joined the Bantams in January on a month’s loan.