Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday: Nuhiu can learn from Crouch, believes Gray

Owls boss Stuart Gray
Owls boss Stuart Gray
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Stuart Gray wants misfiring striker Atdhe Nuhiu to take a lesson from former England striker Peter Crouch.

The lanky Stoke City front man is similar to Nuhiu in that they are both tall centre-forwards but are more suited with the ball at their feet than competing for headers.

The Owls’ head coach has pushed Stevie May further forward in recent games, allowing Nuhiu to prompt play from a deeper role, just like Premier League veteran Crouch.

But Gray is demanding the 25-year-old Austrian striker also gets in the box and add to his five goals which he has picked up this season.

“We just feel Stevie’s legs can get us in behind more,” said Gray, ahead of today’s trip to Fulham.

“Lewis McGugan put two top quality passes through for him last week. With all due respect, Atdhe probably needs more balls to his feet. What I’ve stressed to him is his link-up play is great but once he’s given the ball he needs to sprint like mad into the box.

“I saw a couple of examples last weekend with Peter Crouch; he’s laid it off on halfway and his next touch is putting it in the back of the net. Atdhe has to realise he needs to get between the posts as well.

“Atdhe will be disappointed with his output in front of goal because that’s why he’s been brought to the football club.

“His overall team performances I’ve been delighted with. We’ve just switched the roles around, we’ve dropped him into the link-up play between Stevie and the midfield.

“Stevie looks a lot better from getting in behind. The problem is we need goals from every department.

“(Centre-half) Glenn Loovens had a great chance from a corner that got us all up off our seats.”

The Owls have the best away record in the Championship, losing just once in 10 games.