Stuart Gray has shrugged off claims the Owls suffered a psychological hangover from their last meeting with Manchester City after being paired with them again in the FA Cup.
Wednesday’s results dipped markedly following their 7-0 Capital One Cup drubbing at the Eithad Stadium in September, with Gray’s side failing to win any of their next 10 Championship fixtures.
The two teams will lock horns again in the first week of January in the third round of Britain’s oldest competition but Gray insists their Eithad hiding had no bearing on the Owls’ league form.
“I don’t think it affected us,” he told The Star. “Not all all. People may think that result affected us but I’ve never used it as an excuse. It was just a coincidence that we went on a run of where we didn’t get results after that tie.”
City, the reigning Premier League champions, fielded a strong side, including Yaya Toure, James Milner and Frank Lampard, and all of their goals came in the second half. To compound Wednesday’s woes, Kamil Zayatte was sent off for tripping Frank Lampard in the penalty area.
Gray said: “City showed us total respect on that occasion with the team they put out.
“We held them for the first 45 minutes and I was probably the happier manager at half-time! We contained them and they didn’t really hurt us.
“But City’s quality shone through in the second half and it coincided with Kamil getting sent off. It was damage limitation in the end.
“Once City smell blood, they’ve got a great habit of not just sitting back.”