Sheffield Wednesday: Stu’s birthday with a bonus

A delighted Stuart Gray after their victory over Bournemouth.

A delighted Stuart Gray after their victory over Bournemouth.

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Stuart Gray celebrates his 54th birthday today with the perfect present of a 4-2 away victory and confirmation of the Owls’ Championship safety.

Wednesday dented Bournemouth’s hopes of the play-offs and earned praise from the manager for a performance achieved despite the sending-off of Sam Hutchinson when the scores were level.

“I think they [the Cherries] were getting a bit carried away with thinking they have got a chance of the play-offs; we just knew we had to come in and spoil their party,” said Gray.

“I’ve got to give the players plenty of credit for their character, effort, desire and enthusiasm. I’m delighted with the win.

“People will probably look and think it was an upset - it’s not an upset; I think we deserved the result.

“Last season we went into the last game looking over our shoulder. We’ve pulled away; it’s nice to go into the last three games without having that pressure on us.”

Lewis Buxton looks set to miss Monday’s home game against Charlton after going off with a knee ligament injury but it is hoped that Glenn Loovens will be fit after he was not quite ready for yesterday’s match because of his hamstring.

Hutchinson will be suspended for two matches after being dismissed for two bookable offences.

Gray said: “I’m disappointed with the second yellow card. I don’t think there was any contact really. Sam was just desperately trying to get a tackle in.”