Laura Jones column: Bank on Gray to plug Cottagers leaks

Stuart Gray
Stuart Gray

Owls fans will hopefully be seeing an old friend in the New Year.

Stuart Gray has been appointed senior coach of Fulham whilst they search for a permanent manager.

His first objective is to shore up Fulham’s defence. They currently have the second worst defence in the Championship behind Rotherham United.

We know from experience what Stuart Gray can do for a team. His man management coaching style and attention to detail can still be seen in the team today. Let’s not forget that the heart of our defence, Tom Lees and Glenn Loovens, was built by Stuart and continues to be first choice when they are fit.

It was announced earlier this week that Wednesday would be playing Fulham at home in the FA Cup third round in January, seven days after we play them away at Craven Cottage in the league. This gives Gray a few weeks to find the stopcock for Fulham’s leaky defence.

Mike Rigg, Fulham’s Chief Football Officer, told the club website that they hired Gray because of his productive stint in charge of the Owls, citing his record of securing Wednesday’s “highest finish for six years, along with a record number of clean sheets”.

In the short space of time since Gray was sacked, Sheffield Wednesday style of play has completely changed. Where clean sheets were once the holy grail of Gray’s custodianship, the concentration under Carvalhal is possession, pressing and passing.

Gray’s tenure at Hillsborough was unifying and solidifying after Dave Jones’ apathetic approach. You get the feeling that’s also why Fulham have hired him.

We’ve now taken a step beyond that and it feels gratifying to say we’ve moved on and for the better.

I wish Gray good luck in his new role - just don’t shore up that Fulham defence until after the first week in January Stuart!