Sheffield Wednesday: Gray calls for cup backing

Sam Hutchinson throws his shirt into the Wednesday fans after their win at Huddersfield.
Sam Hutchinson throws his shirt into the Wednesday fans after their win at Huddersfield.

Stuart Gray believes that his players need no further motivation from him for tonight’s showdown with Charlton - and he is appealing for Sheffield Wednesday fans to play their part.

The Owls now have their sights on an FA Cup quarter-final against United and a Wembley semi, boosted by their victory at Huddersfield.

And new signing Sam Hutchinson has revealed that he treats every game like a cup final after emerging from depression to resurrect his career.

Gray promised: “We’ll have a right good go. But there are 11 Charlton players who are going to try to make a difference.

“Really, I don’t need any team talk. My only team talk is to the supporters - come and make it an unbelievable atmosphere. Get the players going and we’ll run ourselves into the ground.”

Hutchinson retired two years ago because of a knee condition but was persuaded by Chelsea to make a comeback.

Hoping to make a full home debut tonight after starring at Huddersfield, he said: “Everyone is excited. Personally, I just look at every game as a bonus. Every game is no different, it’s like a final to me. I have to treat games like that, because I don’t know how I am going to feel for the next game.”

Now feeling fit, he added: “I had lost love for playing football. I never played, I was always injured. I was depressed and it was an easy decision for me. I was in a hole, a rut, and wasn’t training.

“I was working with Chelsea, they said ‘You’re still fit, have a go’. So I came back and six months later I was in the first team.

“I went out on loan to Forest, got injured again, and now find myself at Wednesday.

“It’s all experience and makes you stronger. It’s a bit of a cliche, but it does.”

He said all the Owls players are eager to play tonight: “ They know how big it is to get through. It could be a massive derby, and then Wembley. But Charlton is the key one and we need to focus on that.

“It’s a huge game, and not just because it’s Sheffield United in the next round. It’s a massive thing for the club and city.

“All the lads are buzzing in the dressing room. With the injuries we have had - I have come in and seen how many people are injured, important players - Wednesday have done fantastic to keep the run going. Long may it continue.

“It would be massive to go to Wembley. I have sort of experienced it before, but always just on the edge, or not fit enough to be on the bench.”