Sheffield Wednesday: Gray hails team spirit as Owls hit back after Cherries ‘blip’

Owls goal hero Claude Dielna is mobbed by team mates after his winner at Blackburn.
Owls goal hero Claude Dielna is mobbed by team mates after his winner at Blackburn.

There are times when the hairdryer treatment is required during a season.

Five weeks ago, Owls head coach Stuart Gray held a frank clear-the-air meeting with his coaching staff and players after Sheffield Wednesday lost 2-0 at home to Bournemouth.

The dressing room doors remained locked for nearly an hour, with Gray questioning the players attitude and labelling their performance “not good enough”.

Since their timid showing against the Cherries, Wednesday have picked up eight points from four Championship fixtures. The heated post-mortem has clearly had the desired effect.

Gray said: “We have probably had one blip this season and that was Bournemouth at home. There were a few home truths that needed to be said and from then we haven’t done badly. Whether it’s a coincidence or not, I don’t know.

“If you had said to me we would only lose four times in 20 games, I would have snapped your hand off.”

Although the Owls failed to win for two months, Gray always believed they would turn things around.

“When you are not winning games, people always think the manager has lost the dressing room and they are not playing for him,” he said. “The team spirit and togetherness is unbelievable in the club. I can’t compliment the players enough on that. It’s not only the players who are in the team. It’s the ones who are out of the side. It is a happy camp.

“You’ve got to put the hard work in and at the moment we are putting the miles in.”

Wednesday leapfrogged Saturday’s opponents Wolves into 12th position after claiming a 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers last weekend. Kieran Lee and Claude Dielna registered to extend Wednesday’s unbeaten run to four matches, meaning the side have lost just once away from Hillsborough all campaign.

Gray, who has overseen 18 victories from his 50 league games in charge, said: “We are four points from the play-offs which shows how quickly things can change. I had the belief and confidence in the boys when we were drawing games that we weren’t very far away from turning those results into wins.

“We have got to make sure we build on this result because we are on a decent run.”