Sheffield Wednesday: Gray bids to strengthen claim

Stuart Gray remains caretaker manager
Stuart Gray remains caretaker manager

Stuart Gray hopes that tonight’s game against Macclesfield will bolster the case for him to be appointed Wednesday manager.

If nothing changes after the FA Cup replay then he will look upon the Championship match at Burnley on Saturday as another opportunity for him and the Owls to make a mark.

But Gray also believes that he has already proved that he can the job.

It is just the nod from chairman Milan Mandaric that the caretaker boss patiently awaits.

It follows a haul of 14 points from his eight games in charge and the demolition of Leeds - the club’s biggest league win since a 7-1 against QPR in May, 1987.

“From the outside looking in you’d probably think you beat Leeds 6-0 so there’s every chance I would get the job,” admits Gray.

“I’m in dialogue with the chairman. We speak on a regular basis. For some reason, whatever, he’s decided not to give me the job at this moment in time. I was very disappointed when Dave (Jones) lost his job. I was asked to take charge.

“The brief was to get out of the bottom three, which we have done. We’re getting clean sheets and we’re scoring goals.

“We’ve scored eight in the last two home games, and got two clean sheets. I just want to cast all the credit on the players: they deserve it. The performance and result on Saturday felt great for everybody and gave everybody at the club a lift.”

He said he does not know whether his appoointment is imminent: “I’ve got to keeping winning and take excuses away, then, I suppose, that’s all I can do.”

Mandaric congratulated Gray and the team after the Leeds game: “He just said well done. Obviously he was as high as we all were with the perfoamcne and the goals.

“It’s down to his decision what goes on. On that touchline, on the pitch, that’s my organisation, what goes on upstairs in the boardroom is entirely the chairman’s prerogative.

“It’s a results business. At the moment the results are going quite well for us, We’re five games unbeaten and long may it continue.

“On the back of a 6-0 obviously I expected a good conversation with the chairman but all I can do is control what I can control, get the team ready for the replay against Macclesfield then hopefully I’ll be getting prepared for Burnley on Saturday.

“It’s not affecting the players, because they’re getting results. Like I said to the players, we can’t control what goes on upssairs. Credit to them, everyone of them is working hard, even those who aren’t in the team.”

He was asked whether he had proved himself the man for the job: “I think I have. My brief was to get us out of the bottom three, try and get a clean sheet, and score goals.

“I’ll carry on doing the job to the best of my ability. I’m pleased the chairman had confidence in me in asking me to do the job. With the results, I think I’ve proved I have got the confidence. and I can do the job as well.”

Gray confirmed that keeper Damian Martinez will get a game tonight, with Chris Kirkland rested, as he was for the 1-1 draw at Macclesfield.