Sheffield Wednesday: Gray looks to solve Owls’ goal-scoring problems

Owls boss Stuart Gray
Owls boss Stuart Gray

Nobody needs to tell Stuart Gray where his Sheffield Wednesday side have come a cropper this season.

Only the bottom three teams in the Championship; Millwall, Wigan Athletic and Blackpool, have scored fewer goals than the Owls’ 37 strikes in 41 league fixtures.

Owls boss Stuart Gray

Owls boss Stuart Gray

Gray’s men fired yet another blank at top-two contenders Norwich City in a one-sided Bank Holiday Monday contest, failing to register a single shot on target.

Bradley Johnson, who worked with Gray at Northampton Town, grabbed a first half double at Carrow Road to seal the Canaries 12th win in 17 matches since Alex Neil’s appointment in January.

Wednesday have lacked a cutting edge in the final third for the majority of the campaign and that is one of the main reasons why they are not higher up in the table. Gray is still searching for a formula to solve their goal shortage but insists his forward line is not solely to blame for the Owls’ shortcomings in front of goal.

Head coach Gray told The Star: “I know Bradley Johnson because I have worked with him before and I spoke to him after the Norwich game. He came to wish me all the best for the rest of the season. I asked him how many goals he’s got and he said that’s 13 and he’s a midfield player.

“That (goals) is an area where we have fallen down short a little bit. When we have been on top in games, you’ve got to score and take your chances but we haven’t done that enough.

“Every department has got to score. Norwich have got Cameron Jerome, Gary Hooper, Nathan Redmond and two or three other good players who can’t even get on the subs bench. They’ve got the parachute payments and are paying big, big wages but they are a good side.”

Wednesday could have gone ahead in Norfolk had Lloyd Isgrove or Caolan Lavery been more clinical with the chances that came their way.

Lavery led the line on his own in the first half, with Isgrove and Chris Maguire offering support from the wide positions, and Gray said he was satisfied with the striker’s contribution.

“Lavs did okay,” he said. “He will be disappointed he didn’t hit the target with his chance. It was similar to the header he scored against Rotherham. He was in the same sort of area and it was unusual for him to not hit the target.

“If we had taken the lead, it would have been a totally different game and the atmosphere would have totally changed.”

Isgrove, on loan from Southampton, was forced off at half-time after taking a bang to his head. He is expected to be fit to face Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

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