Sheffield Wednesday: Home truths delivered ahead of derby clash with Rotherham

Owls boss Stuart Gray
Owls boss Stuart Gray

Stuart Gray has no plans to reveal what went on behind the dressing room door after Tuesday night’s defeat to Bournemouth.

But the Owls head coach is hopeful the near-hour long inquest with his players will reap rewards in today’s derby clash with Rotherham United.

“It’s a case of what was said inside those four walls being kept inside those four walls,” Gray said.

“All I will say it was productive and what was said had to be said.

“Results are the most important thing for us at the moment, starting against Rotherham.

“If I can get performances and results to go together, even better.

“We all know we need a win to give us a bit of a lift and there’s no better time to get it than in a derby.”

While certainly reluctant to betray the sanctity of the changing room, Gray did suggest that he delivered a few home truths to his squad after what he labelled ‘a disappointing performance.’

And he also revealed he handed the players a chance to speak themselves.

He said: “The players had their chance to do their talking on the pitch.

“But it was an opportunity for them to have their say but I don’t want to be having those meetings regularly.

“It was probably one of the first we’ve had since I’ve been in charge of the team.

“The manner of the performance disappointed me and a few of the players sometimes need to be hit with a few home truths.”

Following the midweek defeat, Gray said he felt a fiery derby with the Millers was the perfect game to follow next for his side.

And given his good record in Yorkshire derbies as Wednesday boss, he has reason for positivity.

The Owls have won three and drawn one of their five derby matches under Gray and another positive result against a rival will provide a timely boost.

But in typical Gray fashion, he prefers to look ahead rather than reflecting on the past.

He said: “Those games have gone and I look forward now.

“This is a new derby for me. We let ourselves down when we played Rotherham in the cup last season.

“But this is on our patch and I’m delighted we’re at home. I know I’ll definitely get a response from my players.”

Gray expects a real battle with Rotherham and has instructed his players to be ready for a scrap with Steve Evans’ men.

“They’re a hard-working side who will close you down and get the ball forward,” He said.

“They play to their strengths. They get the ball forward to Alex Revell and play from there.

“They’ll be in our faces and will be competing. They’ll fight and scrap.

“I need my players to fight and scrap and win their one on one battles.

“Hopefully the bit of quality we have got in our side will come out on top.”