Stuart Gray believes a hectic January transfer deadline day will pay dividends in the second half of Sheffield Wednesday’s Championship campaign.
The Owls brought in four new players on Monday, Romanian striker Sergiu Bus, Manchester United defender Marnick Vermijl, Watford midfielder Lewis McGugan and Portuguese midfielder Melo Silva.
Three of those were permanent deals – only McGugan was a loan until the end of the season – and added to the earlier additions of striker Will Keane (loan from Manchester United) and midfielder Lewis Baker (loan from Chelsea), Gray now believes he has strength in depth for the coming months.
Last season Wednesday were forced to draft in short-term loan deals to cover gaps in the squad, but the Owls are looking to gatecrash the play-offs this term.
With young strikers Mani Dieseruvwe and Caolan Lavery also departing for neighbours Chesterfield – and Slovenia defender Dejan Kelhar earning a new contract after battling back from a serious injury – it was a manic Monday for Gray.
“It was a productive day, we got a few boys through the doors which is great,” said Gray, with defensive midfielder Silva’s arrival not being confirmed by the club until after the official 11pm deadline.
“I felt this time last year we were a little thin on the ground squad-wise and we got caught out towards the end of the season.
“The last thing I wanted was for that to happen again.
“But the most important thing is that we have brought some quality players into the group,” he said.
“That gives me a bit of a headache now picking 11 but the pleasing thing is the boys are buoyant and upbeat and we have got quality in-depth.
“This time last year we had to rely on players going out with injuries and knocks, so this is healthy and the competition is good.
“People always love a fresh face in the football club, including the fans and players themselves, and a big plus for us is that we have four.”
Wednesday currently stand nine points adrift of sixth-placed Watford with 18 Championship games remaining, and next up is the visit of Cardiff City on Saturday.
It will be the first game at Hillsborough since owner Milan Mandaric agreed to sell the club for £30m to Thai businessman Dejphon Chansiri, whose arrival helped finance the new influx of players.