May’s big break will come for Wednesday, says Gray

Stevie May.
Stevie May.
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Stuart Gray is backing his new striker Stevie May to break his Sheffield Wednesday duck soon rather than later.

The £800,000 signing has only played twice for the Owls since arriving from St Johnstone where he had a prolific record, and while he has yet to have any clear-cut chances in successive home draws against Derby County and Millwall, 21-year-old May has made a big impression.

His non-stop chasing and willingness to graft for the team have please head coach Gray ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Middlesbrough in the Championship.

“I can’t fault his effort or commitment,” said Gray. “He’s just not getting a break. He will get goals. I’ve got every confidence in him. But, he knows he needs to keep working like he is doing. The harder you work, the luckier you will get.

“Hopefully he will get one which will go off his right knee on Saturday.

“When we cross the ball into the box, we want him there. Like all strikers, he has the habit of being in the right place at the right time. We’ve got to get more crosses into the box for the strikers.

“The only thing I’ve said to him is he’s not had a clear-cut chance. He’s had a couple of half chances. When the good crosses aren’t going into the boxes, he’s still gambling and anticipating and on the move. He will get his chances. He will learn. He is playing good opposition.

“It’s a learning curve for him. We need to find out what his strengths and weaknesses are.

“You can’t fault his effort and commitment from the first minute to the 95th minute.”

Wednesday are unbeaten this season in four outings, due mainly to a solid defence which conceded its first goal with a ‘95th-minute’ equaliser against Millwall on Tuesday night.

Right-back Lewis Buxton is due to start training today after missing most of pre-season with a knee injury.

But midfield pair Kieran Lee (groin) and Sam Hutchinson (back) are struggling with injuries, the latter rated 50-50 to be fit to face Boro.

Gray is keen to make a couple of signings before the transfer window closes at the end of August, but admits he is having to stay patient. “It’s frustrating,” he said. “Every club is suffering with injuries. At the moment, the timing is not right unless you’ve got a pot of money to go out and buy players.”

Goalkeeper Keiran Westwood has been recalled by Republic of Ireland.