Wickham future tops Gray’s January list

Sheffield Wednesday's Connor Wickhams
Sheffield Wednesday's Connor Wickhams
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D-DAY is fast approaching regarding the future of Sheffield Wednesday loan striker Connor Wickham.

The Sunderland forward is available for just two more matches for the Owls – fitness permitting – with his loan ending after the New Year’s Day encounter against Blackpool at Hillsborough.

Wickham remains a doubt for tomorrow’s clash against Charlton Athletic at the Valley with a hamstring strain which has seen him miss the club’s last two matches.

Despite Wickham’s injury situation, it has not stopped Gray from entering into dialogue with Black Cats chief Gus Poyet in regards to the 20-year-old extending his loan spell at S6 following a positive time in South Yorkshire.

Meanwhile, Gray has also confirmed that he is in talks regarding the signings of other loan recruits to boost the club’s survival challenge.

But it is the re-signing of Wickham which remains Wednesday’s immediate transfer window priority in the New Year.

The former Ipswich Town player has struck five goals in seven appearances for the Owls in his second loan stint at the club.

His haul has included the decisive match-winning goal in the 1-0 success at Watford on December 14 and a key brace in the 2-1 home triumph over current Championship leaders Leicester City at the start of December, with Wednesday desperate to keep hold of him.

But their fate is firmly in the hands of the Wearsiders, who could elect to hand Wickham a lifeline at the Stadium of Light or farm him out on loan again, with Wednesday likely to be at the front of the queue.

Wednesday may be struggling in the bottom reaches of the Championship, but head to the capital in good heart after their goalless draw at Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day – their second successive clean sheet on their travels in the Championship.

This time last year, it was the club’s sound away form which laid the foundation for an impressive second-half of the campaign, which pulled them away from the relegation zone when they looked doomed last winter – with a repeat mission the task 12 months on.

Gray, who saw his side produce a resolute showing at Ewood Park, said: “To get a point at Blackburn was a good result and we now want to go to Charlton and get all three on Sunday.

“The most important and pleasing thing for me at Blackburn was the team performance.

“Credit to everyone, both individually and collectively as a team. We have to replicate that going forward.”

Meanwhile, the Owls’ opponents Charlton head into the game in good heart after a 3-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Boxing Day.

Addicks boss Chris Powell has revealed he is confident of doing a deal with Hull City to extend 
Cameron Stewart’s stay at The Valley.

The winger joined the Addicks on loan on deadline day, a deal which expires next month when the window re-opens. He has scored three goals in eight games.