STUART GRAY has hailed Sheffield Wednesday’s resolute rearguard, who chalked up a sixth clean sheet in nine matches in Tuesday night’s 2-0 victory at Birmingham City.
Big-money signing Stevie May may have seen his name in lights by further endearing himself to Wednesdayites with a fine individual goal at St Andrew’s, but Gray was just as eager to salute the efforts of his back five in an accomplished all-round display.
So far this term, only Wolves have conceded fewer Championship goals than the Owls, whose haul of 12 points is already one more than they had in the bank at the start of December last season.
Continuity is certainly reaping rewards on the defensive front, with Gray keeping changes to an absolute minimum, with the back five having lined up for every league game so far, barring the weekend match at Bolton when Glenn Loovens was suspended.
Head coach Gray said: “I am delighted for Westie (Kieren Westwood) and the back four.
“I was umming and ahing whether to tweak it a little bit and put Liam (Palmer) into midfield and bring Lewis (Buxton) in, but it is not broken and I don’t need to change anything at the moment. You need that calmness.”
On May, he added: “You just hope he goes on a run of scoring, but one thing we do know is that he can create a goal for himself out of nothing and is not frightened to take a shot on.”
Sheffield United made it a Steel City winning double, salvaging victory from the jaws of defeat with a three-goal blast in the last seven minutes to seal a remarkable 3-2 win at Colchester after being 2-0 down, but Nigel Clough was in no mood for celebration.
Admitting the dramatic rally failed to mask a poor overall display, the Blades chief said: “I was delighted with the result, but not very happy with the performance.
“It was very poor at times.”