SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY head coach Stuart Gray labelled referee Simon Hooper’s decision to award a controversial first-half penalty to hosts Wolves as the ‘defining moment’ in his side’s 3-0 Championship loss.
The Wiltshire official pointed the spot after Claude Dielna tangled with Nouha Dicko on 18 minutes, with Bakary Sako firing home from 12 yards and putting the play-off chasing Black Country outfit en route to three points.
Gray clearly felt that the decision was the wrong one, with the strike proving the catalyst to the Owls’ biggest Championship away defeat this term.
Further goals from Benik Afobe and James Henry added to Wolves’ tally, as the Owls’ top-ten hopes took a jolt, while representing far from ideal preparation for the derby double-header with Rotherham United and Huddersfield Town.
On the penalty award, Gray, whose side have taken four points from a possible 12 this month, said: “It was a good tackle. We lost possession and Wolves broke on us.
“I don’t think the centre-forward dived, but I am disappointed with the referee’s decision. The penalty was the defining moment.”
He added: “We probably had the better chances of the two teams. They were there for the beating.
“I can’t believe we didn’t score with the amount of chances we created. They were good chances and have got to be created.”
Meanwhile, Gray has confirmed that Liam Palmer has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury, while the club are awaiting scans on loanee Will Keane, who suffered a similar injury in the weekend draw with Fulham.
On Palmer, he added: “Liam saw a specialist in London and it`s good news in that he doesn`t need surgery.
“But he will probably miss the rest of the season and that’s a blow for the boy.”