Sheffield Wednesday: Gray backs misfiring May to come good

Owls striker Stevie May
Owls striker Stevie May

Striker Stevie May has been left out of Sheffield Wednesday’s recent Championship fixtures...for his own good.

That’s the explanation Owls boss Stuart Gray has given as he prepares to take his side to relegation-haunted Millwall.

Scotland international May was named on the substitutes bench for Wednesday’s clashes with Brighton and Hove Albion and Derby County. The 22-year-old has struggled to score goals since moving south of the border in an £800,000 deal from St Johnstone, finding the back of the net just five times in 32 appearances. May has not scored in his last 12 outings. He last got on the score-sheet in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic at the end of November.

“Everybody needs a breather,” said Gray. “It’s not rocket science. We weren’t getting any goals so I was looking at other permutations. We brought Sergiu Bus in and unfortunately he got injured at Derby.

“You are going to get players losing a bit of form so sometimes players need to come out, regain a bit of confidence and get a second wind before getting another run in the team.”

Following three successive defeats on the road, Gray is calling on his players to get back to basics in the capital. Wednesday have conceded seven goals in their last three matches away from Hillsborough.

The Owls boss has warned his team to not underestimate lowly Millwall. The Lions, who drew 1-1 at Hillsborough earlier in the season thanks to a last-minute equaliser from Magaye Gueye, are in the relegation zone.

“We had someone at the Fulham game at the weekend and Millwall were the better team and had more opportunities,” said Gray. “We’ve got to be mentally right and be up for a physical challenge.

“Millwall are down near the bottom and will be fighting and scrapping. We gave Derby a good game and we have got to make sure we turn up against Millwall.”

Bus, meanwhile, faces a “minimum” of two to three weeks on the sidelines after picking up a groin injury in the warm-up at Derby.