Gray all too aware of how quickly results alter perceptions

Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray watches as the Owls lost 2-1 to Mick McCarthy's Ipswich on Tuesday night (Picture: Steve Ellis).
Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray watches as the Owls lost 2-1 to Mick McCarthy's Ipswich on Tuesday night (Picture: Steve Ellis).
2
Have your say

Sheffield Wednesday’s new owner Dejphon Chansiri met with head coach Stuart Gray yesterday to discuss the Owls’ future.

It was the first time Gray had met with the Thai businessman – whose £30m takeover is just awaiting ratification from the Football League – since buying out Milan Mandaric a fortnight ago.

A winless streak of five games, yielding just two points, was hardly the form with which Gray hoped to impress his new boss.

Reflecting on Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat at Ipswich Town, Gray labelled it “one of the lowest I’ve felt” and slammed the display as “unacceptable”.

Gray accepts his future under Chansiri will be judged on results, but believes the new owner’s willingness to back him in the January transfer market – when he brought in six new players – shows he has support, for now.

“I’ve been in the game long enough and know it’s about results,” said Gray.

“At the moment, our results are not acceptable. Two points out of the last five games is not acceptable.

“Five games ago, people were probably talking about the play-offs and now there is a bit of a gap. That’s how quickly things can change.

“We need to get out of this little bit of a run and keep confidence high.

“It’s a results business. I’ve told the players that if they get beat, then get beat on ability.”

Gray’s talks with Chansiri– whose ambitions are to return Premier League football to S6 after a 15-year exile – also included plans to replace the much-maligned Hillsborough pitch, and modernise the club’s Middlewood Road training ground.

Speaking before the meeting, Gray was asked if he would seek assurances over his own future at Wednesday.

“I think they have already stated that (reassurance) by allowing me to bring four players in,” said Gray, after signing Lewis McGugan, Sergiu Bus, Filipe Melo and Marnick Vermijl on transfer deadline day.

“They are in for the long haul. They want to get this club going forward.

“I will be talking about matters on and off the pitch with them. We need to improve the pitch at Hillsborough and our training facilities.

“They care and are disappointed with the results as well.

“We have got to sit down and work out how we are going to take the club forward.

“There has been a bit of inconsistency which is disappointing.

“I know if we had converted our chances, we would be talking about us being higher in the league.

“I don’t get carried away by speculation. I don’t read about anything because they are external pressures that I am not in control of.

“All I’m in control of is getting the team ready to beat Brighton on Saturday.

“It’s part and parcel of football. I know the results are not good enough.”

Owls captain Glenn Loovens was due to return tomorrow after a two-match suspension for collecting 10 bookings, but an ankle injury picked up in training means he is rated less than 50:50.

Midfielder Jose Semedo also missed training yesterday with a swollen toe, while McGugan came off at Ipswich with a calf problem.

Both will face fitness tests ahead of the Brighton game.

“Glenn’s picked up an injury in training,” confirmed Gray. “He is touch and go for Saturday.

“He’s had to have a scan on his ankle. At the moment, he’s got a boot on and he can’t put any weight on his right ankle.

“It was a clash where he rolled his ankle.

“The most important thing is when he comes back he stays back but we have missed him and Semedo. That’s the spine of the team.”