Sheffield Wednesday: Unhappy Kirkland set to leave Owls on loan

Owls keeper Chris Kirkland
Owls keeper Chris Kirkland
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Owls head coach Stuart Gray has revealed he will let Chris Kirkland leave on loan in January, as soon his goalkeeping department is back to full strength.

Kirkland has struggled to hold down a regular first-team place at Hillsborough, with Gray preferring Keiren Westwood in between the sticks for the majority of the 2014/15 season.

The 33-year-old, out of contract in the summer, has told Gray he is unhappy at his lack of game time, having not featured since Wednesday’s 7-0 thrashing at Manchester City in September.

Gray said: “We have Joe Wildsmith out injured at the moment. Once we get him back, we may consider letting Chris go out for 28 days to get some football. He’s not happy he’s not in the team which I can understand.

“But one thing Chris does do is he comes in, works hard and pushes Keiren Westwood. Once we have a full quota of keepers, we will have to review the situation. Chris has expressed a desire to play but he’s got somebody in front of him.

“I would be disappointed if he was just happy being sat on the bench and picking up his wages.”

In recent days, one-time England international Kirkland has been linked with a return to his first club Coventry City but Gray stressed: “I’ve had no conversation with them.”

He added: “I don’t know if Coventry have got problems with their goalkeepers but I would imagine Championship clubs will be looking at Chris because of the quality he’s got.”