Blackpool 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1: Owls want to retain McGugan’s quality

Sheffield Wednesday head coach Stuart Gray would like to keep Lewis McGugan after the midfielder’s third goal in five games secured victory at bottom side Blackpool.
Owls boss Stuart Gray with match-winner Lewis McGugan.Owls boss Stuart Gray with match-winner Lewis McGugan.
Owls boss Stuart Gray with match-winner Lewis McGugan.

The Watford loanee struck nine minutes after the break with a free-kick for the Owls, who have now won three of their last four league games.

“He is a good player and we like to keep good players but the problem is he is on loan from Watford and he is still Watford’s player,” said Gray.

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“You can see Lewis McGugan has got great quality. And he showed the sort of quality he has with the free-kick.

“It’s our 18th clean sheet of the season and we deserve credit for that. Obviously, credit has to go to the goalkeeper and the back four but we defend from the front and you needed to do that on a pitch like this.

“It was very hard to play any kind of decent football on this pitch, it just wasn’t conducive to knocking the ball around.

“But to be fair we can’t use that as an excuse as our pitch isn’t that good either. We stuck to our task and kept working away and eventually we got the reward our efforts deserved.”

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Wednesday were on top for most of the match and Chris Maguire was the main architect of the first-half chances, forcing Elliot Parish into a couple of saves.

McGugan gave the visitors the lead on 54 minutes when his curling free-kick from the left touchline evaded everyone inside the area and nestled in the far corner of Parish’s net.

Blackpool: Parish, Barkhuizen (Clarke 71), Aldred, Hall, Ferguson, Addison, Oliver (Samuel 60), Perkins, O’Hara, Telford, Delfouneso. Unused substitutes: Cubero, Sene, Nosworthy, Boney, O’Dea.

Sheffield Wednesday: Westwood, Palmer, Lees, Dielna, Helan, Lee, Hutchinson (Vermijl 18), McGugan, Maguire, Keane (Mattock 88), Nuhiu. Unused substitutes: Buxton, May, Filipe Melo, Kirkland, Maghoma.

Referee: G Scott (Oxfordshire).

Man of the match: Chris Maguire.