Sheffield Wednesday: Gray can strengthen claim

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Stuart Gray’s future could be shaped by Sheffield Wednesday’s match against Forest today.

Although speculation about the Owls job has spread to include Paul Dickov and Paul Ince, Gray is believed to have a real chance of landing it.

Chairman Milan Mandaric has told The Star that a revised shortlist includes two men “from outside the country.”

But another impressive performance by the team today would strengthen Gray’s claim.

Mandaric is continuing his search but is prepared to be patient while he makes sure he picks the right man.

An appointment within the next few days is highly unlikely, and the chairman cannot give an indication of a timescale.

But it may be that the more the team are successful under Gray, the better chance he has of staying in charge.

Mandaric is refusing to discuss names. It has been claimed that Blackpool boss Ince and Doncaster’s Dickov are targets. Rovers have said they have received no approach.

Mandaric in the end took the view that Neil Warnock would not be the right man in view of strong opposition to him from many Wednesday fans.

The chairman told The Star: “We want to concentrate on the game against Forest and support Stuart.

“He has been a caretaker manager four or five times in his life, so this is nothing unusual for him, but he was never given a chance.

“He is a good coach. We are giving him a chance as we decide what we are going to do.

“Yes there are four or five other people; two or three are working and we will approach their clubs when the time comes. There are a couple from outside the country.

“I will leave the matter alone this weekend while we concentrate on the game,”

Referring to the Warnock affair, the chairman said: “Without harmony, we would have been facing a very difficult situation.”

Southend’s Phil Brown, the League Two Manager of the Month, who took Hull into the Premier League, may be on Mandaric’s radar, and Brown’s first-team coach is ex-Owls captain Graham Coughlan.