Sheffield Wednesday: ‘Kick up the backside’ spurred on Owls!

Stuart Gray believes that class told in the end as Wednesday beat Macclesfield 4-1 in their FA Cup third round replay.

But the caretaker boss admits that his team needed a “kick up the backside” before booking their place at Rochdale on January 25.

Chris Maguire celebrates with Reda Johnson

Chris Maguire celebrates with Reda Johnson

Conference outfit Macc equalised in a second half fightback and forced an important save from Damian Martinez before the Owls clinched the victory. Gray said: “It mirrored the first game. We got our noses in front and couldn’t get that second goal. I said to them at half time that Macclesfield would have a 10-minute period, they did and ‘Emmi’ (Martinez) made a good save. But in the end, our class showed with the pace we have.

“It is nice to get four goals from four different scorers in front of our home fans.”

Of the visitors’ fight-back, he said: “I think the lads realise they were so close to being knocked out. It was probably the kick up the backside we needed but I thought we thoroughly deserved it.”

Gray said that Reda Johnson stayed off at half time because of a groin injury.

Jermaine Johnson went on as a sub to make the second goal and scored a third. Gray said: “We had put Macclesfield under so much pressure. I could see their back four were tiring a bit so I put Chris Maguire out wide and with JJ’s pace you know he will open up the pitch for you.

“Once he is in full flow on a muddy pitch he hovers on it! He has got great ball control.

“It was a good goal for him and the pleasing thing is that we have got another four at home.”

Gray said the club had two options in their hunt for a striker and are awaiting answers from players. He also gave credit to Macc for their performance.