Sheffield Wednesday: Owls players fighting for their futures

Jose Semedo
Jose Semedo

Head coach Stuart Gray has challenged his Sheffield Wednesday players to prove they are worth keeping hold of this summer.

The Owls chief has issued the stern warning ahead of their Hillsborough double-header with Charlton Athletic and Brentford.

Sixteen members of Gray’s first-team squad are poised to become free agents in the coming months, including captain Glenn Loovens, Jose Semedo, Kieran Lee and Chris Maguire.

Gray has reminded his stars that they must impress in the final five matches of the Championship season if they are going to be part of his future plans.

He told The Star: “We have a lot of players out of contract but it doesn’t worry me at all.

“I had to rebuild the team last season. It is part and parcel of football. The players can’t allow any complacency to creep in because they are playing for their livelihoods.

“They should all be fighting and scrapping to get re-signed by Sheffield Wednesday.

“We have 15 points to play for and we want to go for them and finish as high as possible in the league.”

Wednesday suffered a fresh defensive injury blow yesterday, with Gray revealing Joe Mattock is likely to miss the remainder of the campaign after picking up a groin problem in training. The Owls are already missing Liam Palmer, Loovens and Claude Dielna.

Gray, who has not ruled out promoting a youngster, stressed: “We will cope, even if that means playing somebody out of position.”

Jeremy Helan is expected to deputise at left-back, having shrugged off a groin knock, while Kamil Zayatte should get the nod at centre-back to partner Tom Lees.

Semedo (foot) and Will Keane (ankle) continue to receive treatment from the Owls’ medical team.

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