Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton: Players are fighting for their futures, says Gray

Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray
Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray
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SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY may be comfortably ensconced in mid-table but Stuart Gray says he will not tolerate any slacking off in the final five matches of the campaign.

Wednesday and opponents Charlton have little to play for today but pride, but any thoughts of summer holidays and the beach certainly should not be in the mindset of home players, according to head coach Gray.

The Owls still have a statistical chance of equalling their best finish since being relegated from the top-flight in 2000 – ninth in 2006-07 – if they have a strong finish to the season and there is also the issue of players fighting for contracts.

Fourteen players, including Kieran Lee, Chris Maguire, Glenn Loovens, Joe Mattock, Jose Semedo, Jacques Maghoma and Lewis Buxton, see their deals expire.

Gray said: “We are not far away with the list, but one thing I can’t accept at the moment is any complacency.

“We are going into our last five games and we have a big say on this Championship.

“There’s a Charlton team who we can go above with a good win and we obviously have Leeds at home and a say in what will happen in the play-offs and with automatic promotion.

“So the last thing I want is to see any complacency coming in.

“I want the players to focus on playing well and getting wins for Sheffield Wednesday and then we will sit down with them at the end of the season.

“You are always in dialogue with players’ agents and players out of contract at other clubs at the end of the season, so you have one eye on the future and trying to plan.

“But the most important thing is getting these lads focused. There’s 15 points to play for and we want to finish as high in the league as possible.”

The Owls’ defensive options are stretched today with Joe Mattock and Claude Dielna joining Loovens and Liam Palmer on the sidelines.

Slovenian centre-half Dejan Kelhar could feature.