Yeovil v Sheffield Wednesday: Work has already started on Owls recruitment

Wednesday's manager Stuart  Gray.
Wednesday's manager Stuart Gray.
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STUART GRAY is aiming high between now and May – to boost his chances of a successful sales pitch in the summer.

Free of any genuine relegation fears in a lower mid-table Championship position following a fine upturn under Gray, Wednesday can look forward to playing out the rest of the campaign in relative comfort.

But that has not stopped their head coach striving for more.

With their Championship tenure all-but secured for another year with 14 games still to go, Gray’s thoughts have turned partly to next season, albeit with emphasis on the here-and-now.

Both go hand in hand for Gray, who admits that a high finish will strengthen his hand in terms of recruitment in the close-season.

Gray, whose 15th-placed side visit Yeovil this afternoon, said: “I want to get as many points as possible. I obviously have one eye on the future and planning for next season and the last thing I would want to do is make sure Sheffield Wednesday is not appealing as such.

“So the higher we can finish up the league, the more appealing we are when we are negotiating.

“There will be lads out of contract at the end of the season who we will be in the market for and it’s up to me to try and sell the football club.

“But they will have one eye on the league table to see where we finish. The higher we can finish, the better it can help me with signing new players or re-signing those who are on contracts.”

The future of a number of loan players is likely to be addressed next week, with Gray revealing that Leon Best, Sam Hutchinson, Gary Gardner and Adedeji Olishija are all keen on extending their stints at Hillsborough.

The Owls boss, who has confirmed contract talks are underway with Liam Palmer and Caolan Lavery, with Gary Madine the subject of considerable loan interest, said: “First and foremost, we have asked the individuals and everyone of them wants to stay.

“They are thoroughly enjoying their football here, having not had much opportunity at their parent clubs.

“We are grateful we’ve got them and they have actually raised the bar with the quality they have given us on the training pitch.”