Sheffield Wednesday: Owl loanee poised to win fitness battle

Lewis McGugan
Lewis McGugan

Lewis McGugan is winning his battle to be fit for Sheffield Wednesday’s clash with Wolves.

The midfielder was stretchered off in a neck brace in the first half of Saturday’s 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers after being “knocked out completely” following a mid-air collision with Lee Williamson.

McGugan has started the Owls’ last three matches and head coach Stuart Gray is confident the 26-year-old will resume first-team training tomorrow.

Gray, who has confirmed he wants to extend McGugan’s loan deal, which is set to run out on January 1, told The Star: “Lewis has done some light training so hopefully he will have no reaction to that. He’s just got a stiff neck because he was knocked out.

“Fingers crossed, Lewis will be okay for Saturday.”

Should McGugan be available for selection, Gray will have a difficult decision to make, for the second week in a row, regarding the make up of his midfield.

Jose Semedo is in contention to play, having served a one-match suspension for collecting five bookings. The Portuguese star has featured prominently for Wednesday this season, making 19 appearance.

“We are benefit when there is competition for places,” said Gray. “It keeps players on their toes. They know if they don’t perform in training that they have got someone pushing to grab the shirt off them.”

Gray prefers to play a 4-4-2 formation, particularly at Hillsborough, meaning he would have to leave out either McGugan or Kieran Lee to accommodate Semedo.

“It is a nice position for me to be in,” insisted Gray. “I was delighted with the way Kieran Lee performed on Saturday. He got his goal and played the way he did on a consistent basis last season.

“He’s had his injections in his groin and is feeling a lot better. Hopefully he will be okay for the Christmas period and we can keep him out of the treatment room for the rest of the season.”

Midfielder Giles Coke (Achilles) is jogging again but the midfielder is unlikely to return to action until the end of the month.