Sheffield Wednesday: Time will tell over new-look squad

Owls boss Stuart Gray

Owls boss Stuart Gray

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Some Wednesdayites have questioned Stuart Gray’s team selection and tactics following their poor sequence of results in recent weeks.

What cannot be disputed, though, is the fact that the Owls boss has successfully managed to lower the average age of his side during the 2014/15 campaign.

Four of the six players Gray recruited before the end of the January transfer window are under the age of 23, although Lewis Baker has since been recalled by parent club Chelsea. He also drafted in Tom Lees and Stevie May last summer, tying the duo down to long-term contracts.

Gray told The Star: “I wanted to bring the average age down. We are looking at the long-term and have one eye on the future.

“It was probably an old squad last season and we got caught out for having too many 30-plus players and having to play people with an injury or out of position.”

Given Wednesday have four more matches before the end of February, starting with tomorrow’s encounter with Brighton and Hove Albion, Gray has indicated he is prepared to alter his starting line-up as they look to get back on track in the Championship.

“We’ve got a lot of games coming up in a short period of time so you need strength and depth and competition,” he said. “We are going to need everybody whether we need to freshen things up or if it is for tactical reasons.

“Unfortunately, there’s going to be people sat in the stands and some will miss out but I think the game is about rotation and freshening things up. I have now got players looking over their shoulder thinking ‘If I don’t pull my weight, I will be out of the team’.”

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