Best praise is reserved for Owls coach Gray ahead of derby trip

Leon Best.
Leon Best.
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Leon Best believes Stuart Gray’s hand-on approach at Sheffield Wednesday is bringing out the best in the on-loan striker.

Two goals in back-to-back wins at Hillsborough – a 4-1 win over Birmingham City swiftly followed by Tuesday’s 3-0 success over promotion-chasing QPR – have seen 27-year-old Best rediscover his eye for goal, after sorting out his match fitness.

Best – who had two previous loan spells at Wednesday as a teenager – is looking to kickstart his career after arriving on loan from Blackburn Rovers until the summer.

And the former Newcastle United striker – the third loan striker at Hillsborough to prove a hit in front of goal, after Matty Fryatt and Connor Wickham – says playing under head coach Gray is “unbelievable”.

“You know no matter what you do he has got your back and he has you going out there with confidence,” said Best, who has scored three goals in eight Owls appearance this season.

“As a player, having a manager like Stuart is unbelievable. He’s very hands-on and has involvement in everything that we do. He knows what he wants from us and we know if we do it then we’ll win games.

“I love it here, it’s like a second home to me.

“It’s been easy for me to come here and train and play and just enjoy my football.

“It’s football and anything can happen, but I’ve got two and a half years left on my contract with Blackburn.”

Wednesday travel to Doncaster Rovers tomorrow, having picked up four wins from their last six Championship outings.

Gray will assess the fitness of goalkeeper Chris Kirkland (calf), while on-loan Chelsea midfielder Sam Hutchinson (knee) could figure, after being rested for the QPR game, Liam Palmer proving a capable deputy in the centre of midfield.