Sheffield Wednesday: Extended break has helped Owls

Owls boss Stuart Gray
Owls boss Stuart Gray

Head coach Stuart Gray is convinced Sheffield Wednesday have benefited from playing just one match a week since the third international break.

The Owls have had no mid-week games since November 4, giving Gray’s squad the chance to recharge their batteries.

Wednesday sit in 12th position, having accrued seven points from their last three Championship fixtures.

Gray, who hopes Kamil Zayatte will resume first-team training today, told The Star: “When we had our bad run, we were playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday but now we have a little bit of a break between games.

“It has allowed certain individuals to rest and recover rather than having to go at full intensity on a Tuesday. It is tough when you are asking players who maybe have got one or two knocks to play three times a week. Hopefully after a good win at Blackburn, we will be fresh after a week’s training and can play at the intensity that gets us results. That’s what we need to do against Wolves.”

Monday’s FA Cup third draw paired Wednesday with Premier League heavyweights Manchester City. The clash will take place at the Etihad Stadium on the weekend of January 3/4 but Gray has told his players to put the mouth-watering tie to the back of their minds.

“We’ve got to put the tie on the backburner,” he stressed. “I always look to the next game.

“People will make reference to the last time we played them (City won 7-0 in the Capital One Cup) but my full focus is on the Wolves game this Saturday. We have four important games before the City game so we will focus on it nearer the time.”