Lee Gregory says praise for his crucial Sheffield Wednesday hat-trick should go to playmakers

Lee Gregory is scoring goals at just the right time for Sheffield Wednesday but more than rising to the occasion, he says the main reason is he is being supplied with more chances.

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Without even realising, Gregory scored his first hat-trick in six-and-a-half years on Tuesday to take his recent tally to seven goals in as many games. It allowed the Owls to come from 2-1 down at relegation-threatened Fleetwood Town and claim a 3-2 win which means they will qualify for the play-offs if they beat Portsmouth on Saturday.

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Scoring goals and with a sold-out Hillsborough to look forward to at the weekend, it is no wonder Gregory is enjoying his football, but he says his team-mates are doing a lot to make his life easier.

Sheffield Wednesday's Lee Gregory has scored some crucial goals down the stretch (Picture: PA)

“I think the team’s creating more chances,” said Gregory. “Before my injury we weren’t really creating as much. I was having one chance in three games and if I didn’t take that... now I’m getting two or three chances a game.”

Gregory’s second and third goals were seconds apart and so important to the team he did not even realise their personal significance.

“I was just buzzing to get the goals at that time and I just looked at the scoreboard and I saw three balls and I thought, ‘Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about that!’” he admitted.

His last hat-trick was for Millwall at Plymouth Argyle in the Football League Trophy in November 2015. This one took him to 15 goals for the season, his most productive campaign since 2016-17.

Lee Gregory has scored seven goals in his last seven games for Wednesday (Picture: Steve Ellis)

“It’s the most enjoyable season I’ve had for a while,” he said. “It’s had a lot of ups and downs and we should be higher up in the table but this is football. You have to take the lows and the highs.”

Too many of those lows have been self-inflicted, with Wednesday conceding their 18th set-piece goal this season after a Jordan Storey error allowed Fleetwood to equalise.

“We’ve got to stop giving silly free-kicks away because we do concede a lot from free-kicks and corners,” said Gregory. “The gaffer gave us a telling-off at half-time and we needed that. We knew with the players we’ve got and how we can play we can beat any team, we just needed that boost.

“We knew we’d get that second and a third. To get them in quick succession did us wonders and the dressing room was buzzing afterwards, we can’t wait for Saturday and then the play-offs hopefully.

“First thing’s first, we need to get into the play-offs. It’ll be a big game on Saturday and I can’t wait for the atmosphere for that one, then we move on from there.”