Sheffield Wednesday: Gray wary of ban threats

editorial image
Share this article

Stuart Gray is wary of the yellow peril as he tries to negotiate a difficult December with a depleted squad.

The Owls caretaker boss has enough problems with injuries and feels he can ill afford to lose more players owing to suspensions.

But the fact that five players are getting close to bans has led to him calling on his squad to avoid “stupid” bookings.

Atdhe Nuhiu. Reda Johnson, Miguel Llera, Stephen McPhail and Jermaine Johnson all have three cautions. Reaching the five mark before December 31 brings an automatic one-match ban, and there are another five games to be negotiated this month.

Gray said: “We’ve got players on three bookings. You always have to have an eye on that - suddenly you might get one back from the treatment room but you might lose one through suspension.

“But I’d rather players be committed and if they’re going to get yellow cards they’re for tackles, nothing stupid. I won’t tolerate dissent.

“If they get booked, they get booked for challenges.”

Tough-tackling Jose Semedo, meanwhile, says that Gray has given the players a boost: “It’s been different, in a good way. Stuart was with the manager since last season; he’s been good; we’ve been playing differently; something’s changed; more happiness, a different way; to be fair, he’s done very well for us.

“I remember when I wasn’t playing I was feeling a bit frustrated and I told him something and he gave me some good words back which lifted me, and definitely other players did the same. He knows how to lift us.”