Sheffield Wednesday: Maghoma doubt for proud Owls

Jacques Maghoma suffered a knee injury in the Wigan penalty controversy
Jacques Maghoma suffered a knee injury in the Wigan penalty controversy

Stuart Gray is urging his players to be proud of the performance at Wigan and pick themselves up for tomorrow’s visit of Birmingham.

But the Owls manager may have to deal with yet another injury blow.

Jacques Maghoma picked up a knee ligament injury in the challenge by Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi that brought a penalty

Maghoma carried on after being hurt just before half-time but went off in the 62nd minute.

The Owls have continually had players come back from injuries - with Lewis Buxton and David Prutton the latest - but then lost others.

Gray’s selection will also be influenced by the outcome of attempts to keep loan players.

The one-month deals involving Sam Hutchinson, Leon Best, Gary Gardner and Adedeji Oshilaja ran out after the Wigan game.

Decisions are likely to be made known today.

But Gray has delivered an upbeat message to the squad: “I’ve told the players ‘get your heads up, be pround of the performance against a very good team, a team that’s has gone 10 games unbeaten and went to Manchester City and got a win’.”

If Maghoma is out it may enhance the chances of a swift recall for Chris Maguire. who is normally the designated penalty-taker.

Maguire was on the bench at Wigan when the

Owls were awarded the penalty there. So was Atdhe Nuhiu, who netted the winner against Middlesbrough from the spot two weeks ago after Maguire had gone off, Best took the penalty job on Wednesday and saw his shot saved by Al Habsi.

Gray says that there was no debate about who would take the kick at Wigan - the only initial uncertainty was whether Maghoma would have to come off straight away after being fouled and be replaced by Maguire, who did take over in the 62nd minute.

Tomorrow’s game is arguably given extra importance by the Owls’ lean run - five defeats and only two wins in the last seven league and cup games - and the fact that Birmingham are only two points below them after their draw with Burnley.

Buxton - tomorrow set for his first Hillsborough game in almost four months - believes that the team have potentially set a strong foundation with the display at Wigan.

He also said: “We’re doing a lot better than we did previously; Stu’s come in and done a brilliant job, and the lads have responded well. Loan players have done brilliantly, but I’d like to see us sign players permanently as much as we can.”