Third wheel set up to be one of Sheffield Wednesday’s most vital players in title run-in

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For a player with a goal contribution record some way better than one every other game, Lee Gregory hasn’t played much football this season.

Two goals in defeat at Barnsley over the weekend took his league tally to eight. With his two assists he provides a goal contribution once every 150-odd minutes. As a League One striker that has spent the last months playing as deputy to Michael Smith and Josh Windass, it’s a remarkable hit rate.

With mystery hanging over Windass’ injury timescale, Gregory’s tally boost to three in his last two could hardly have come at a better time. Together, he and Smith provided a different method of attack at Oakwell but caused problems throughout.

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Mallik Wilks is on the edge of a possible return and Callum Paterson’s return to action is being spoken of being somewhere inside a fortnight. Though anxiety will hang over Windass’ condition, help is on the way.

GOAL…Owls Lee Gregory hits his second goal   Pic Steve EllisGOAL…Owls Lee Gregory hits his second goal   Pic Steve Ellis
GOAL…Owls Lee Gregory hits his second goal Pic Steve Ellis

And Gregory, who was Wednesday’s top scorer last season but until the Barnsley clash had started only two matches in 2023, looks likely to play a central role in proceedings between now and the end of the season.

“I thought they were two wonderful finishes, super confident,” Moore said on the former Stoke City man. “He’s gutted as he felt he should have had a hat-trick.

“You always want your number nine scoring and he always looked a threat. I thought him and Smudger bossed their defence, they gave them a real tough time.

“As the balance of the game went on, we found ourselves in a lot more territory, we just couldn’t convert that territory into goals.”