Sheffield Wednesday: Stuart Gray’s sympathy for Uwe Rosler

Uwe Rosler
Uwe Rosler

Owls head coach Stuart Gray was among those to sympathise with sacked Wigan Athletic boss Uwe Rosler but admits the news did not surprise him.

Rosler was axed on Thursday after less than a year in charge of the Championship club.

He steered Wigan to the FA Cup semi-finals last season after they beat Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and Manchester City and, spurred on by an eight-game winning streak in all competitions, they reached the Championship play-offs under his guidance in May, only to be eliminated by QPR.

But the Latics, who were FA Cup winners just 18 months ago, decided to dispense with Rosler’s services after a run of just one win since August has led to them sliding into the bottom three.

Indeed, Wigan, who take on Wednesday at Hillsborough in a fortnight’s time, have won just three of their 17 league fixtures and lost to League Two side Burton Albion in the Capital One Cup.

In their last outing, Wigan slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Bolton Wanderers and their performance left Rosler, who was a player at Southampton when Gray was in charge, “embarrassed” and he accused his players of “giving up”.

“It’s disappointing for Uwe, who served his apprenticeship at Brentford, earning the right to get the job at Wigan,” said Gray. “It just shows the thin dividing lines at this level.

“I went to the Bolton v Wigan game and Wigan could easily have been 2-0 up at half-time. They hit the bar and post.

“At half-time, Uwe is probably telling them to carry on playing like that and they will win. Suddenly they have not performed very well in the second half and Bolton scored three times in an 11 minute period.”

Given Wigan’s spending power and resources, Gray is surprised Lancashire club are languishing in the lower reaches of the division.

“Wigan went on a fantastic run when Uwe went into the club,” said Gray. “They beat Manchester City in the FA Cup before losing at the semi-final stage to Arsenal and got to the play-off semi-finals.

“The expectation levels are very high at Wigan because they had a period in the Premier League, have the parachute payments and got a huge squad. They will be disappointed where they are in the league and with their results.

“We are in a results business. It’s about winning games and if your results aren’t good enough you end up losing your job. Uwe, unfortunately, has suffered for that.”