Sheffield Wednesday: Madine stays in Gray plans

Gary Madine in action against Sheffield United Under 21s this week
Gary Madine in action against Sheffield United Under 21s this week

Gary Madine remains part of Stuart Gray’s plans though the Owls boss has allowed him to go on loan to Carlisle for the rest of the season.

Fans wondered when the striker was released from prison last month whether he would have an Owls first-team future.

But Gray says that the idea is for the loan move to sharpen his fitness before he returns for pre-season training.

Gray insists: “I’ve done it (the loan deal) for the right reasons - to get the match sharpness in him, then he comes back pre-season and hopefully he’ll hit the ground running.”

The Owls boss also says that Madine has settled back in well since he resumed his career in training and Under 21 games.

“He comes in, smiles every day. I’m sure he’s in a happy place. He scored a goal down here; also I was at the Barnsley (U-21) game when he scored a great header. What he needs to be doing is playing regular football. We can’t give him that opportunity at the moment, with Leon Best playing so well; we’ve got Nuhiu, Lavery, Maguire, and Afobe as well.”

Gray is also well off for midfield players so has loaned David Prutton to Coventry for the rest of the season.