Top-tier target will require Owls to add firepower

Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray.

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STUART GRAY has set his summer sights on boosting Sheffield Wednesday’s attacking firepower to help realise Dejphon Chansiri’s mission of Premier League football by 2017.

Promotion may be off the agenda for the Owls this season, but ambitious new owner Chansiri has already set out his medium-term aims – getting the Hillsborough outfit back in the top flight by the time they celebrate their 150th anniversary.

Head coach Gray insists he is not daunted by the challenge set by Chansiri and has already identified what the main area of improvement is for the Owls.

Their goals-for tally of 31 is second lowest in the Championship and is in marked contrast to their strong defensive statistics.

Gray said: “I think I know what’s needed to get out of the Championship.

“You need 17 clean sheets and then a couple of forwards who are going to get maybe 30 goals between them, so hopefully we can strengthen on that side.

“Hopefully the takeover will allow me to look in a different market to what I was looking at before, but I need to sit down with him (Chansiri) to discuss the budget for next season.

“He is willing to invest in the pitch and the training ground and then I have got to ask him about bringing better players in.”

Adamant he is not cowed by Chansiri’s challenge, Gray added: “I am pleased that’s his ambition. That is my ambition. I don’t want to stay in the Championship. It is such an open league.”

“We have probably had six or seven games where we have had an ideal opportunity to win games, whether it be with a second goal, but we have missed chances. We should be higher up in the league.

Gray believes that Milan Mandaric will stay in football despite selling up to Chansiri for £37.5m.

The ex-Portsmouth and Leicester owner, 76, will retain an advisory role at Hillsborough, but Gray would not be surprised to see the businessman back in the frontline at another club in the future.

He said: “He is a football man. He has done it at Portsmouth, Leicester and Wednesday.

“He is very hands-on. I was in daily contact with him and he would come up to the training ground.

“He was a big fan and he is desperate for the club to do well.

“I don’t know if he will stay out of football. I think it is in his blood. I am sure we will see him back in football.”

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