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Sheffield Wednesday: Maguire return set to boost Owls

Owls defender Reda Johnson beats Tommy Elphick

Owls defender Reda Johnson beats Tommy Elphick

Wednesday captain Reda Johnson welcomes the return of Chris Maguire to ease a striker crisis.

Maguire was due to stay at Coventry until January 5 but the Owls are exercising their right to recall him after the first 28 days of his emergency loan.

He is set join the squad for the Boxing Day game at Blackburn.

Johnson said: “Chris is a good player. We know him. He knows the club. If he comes back, it will be good for the team.

“We know at the moment we are struggling with strikers. Of course he will be welcomed back.”

Atdhe Nuhiu is doubtful for Boxing Day after going off with a shoulder injury in the 2-1 defeat by Bournemouth.

It is hoped that Connor Wickham will be fit after missing Saturday’s game with a hamstring problem.

The Owls were so short of strikers that Switzerland youngster Andelko Savic was the only one among the subs. He made his debut after Nuhiu went off; the Austrian became the ninth player on the injured list, which was also joined before the game by defender Glenn Loovens.

But Johnson refused to make excuses of injuries: “We are a squad. We can’t talk about one or two players being missing; we didn’t play like a team.

“I don’t think there is one Bournemouth player who has more quality than we have in our dressing room, but if you taker their team, they were a better 11 than us.

“We cannot focus on one player. We beat Watford not because Connor Wickham scored a free kick; we defended well and kept a clean sheet; even if Connor scored we would have lost if we had conceded goals.”

The skipper says players have not been affected by the uncertainty over the managerial position, with a full appointment yet to be made. Caretaker boss Stuart Gray is due to stay in charge over Christmas but his longer-term claim was not helped by Saturday’s game.

Johnson regards it as normal in football that the manager takes praise when a team succeed but questions are asked when they lose: “That happened with Dave Jones. Now the caretaker is Stuart.In four games he won two, he proved that he has done well. But the most important thing, like he says, is the players.”

Johnson also welcomed Jacques Maghoma’s first goal for the club: “I’m very pleased. He’s a very good lad. He works hard on the pitch. It’s good for him - his first goal in the Championship. I hope more will come.”

The skipper found it hard to explain Saturday’s failure: “It’s no time for crying, I can tell you all the players know the position we’re in. We’re all frustrated. But the most important thing is to stay together and try to change things.”

 

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