Sheffield Wednesday: Bosses set to stick after good runs

Jeremy Helan is pushing for a start after his goalscoring exploits in midweek
Jeremy Helan is pushing for a start after his goalscoring exploits in midweek

One thing Wednesday and Reading do have in common is that both teams are poised to name unchanged sides for tomorrow’s meeting at Hillsborough.

Jeremy Helan and Gary Madine are pushing hard for first-team places but, given the Owls’ consistent displays so far this term, it is unlikely they will start against a Royals outfit who have won four matches on the spin after a shaky start.

Helan staked his claim for a starting berth by scoring after coming off the substitutes bench in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Birmingham City.

Now Owls head coach Stuart Gray is calling on all his fringe players to force their way into his plans.

He said: “I said to the players who played against Birmingham, ‘I want you to make it difficult for the lads who are not in the team’. What I mean by that is put your effort, commitment and performances in. Yes it will be about results, but what I want to do is keep a settled side as much as possible.

“The players in the team have got the shirts and allowing me to pick the same team.

“But the boys not in the team are just as important. I know from my own experience as a player, when you are not in the team you have to show them some love and affection. Keep their fitness levels up, work with them, because suddenly you are going to need them.

“More often than not, it’s not the team that starts, but the team which finishes which is the more important.

“They might be getting a little frustrated but they can see what the lads are doing, we are winning games. It’s a little bit difficult for them to come knocking on my door asking why they aren’t playing.”