Sheffield Wednesday: Mandaric regrets Gardner blow

Anthony Gardner receives attention before being carried off at Middllesbrough
Anthony Gardner receives attention before being carried off at Middllesbrough

Milan Mandaric has described Anthony Gardner as “a big miss” as the Owls ponder the implications of losing him for months.

A specialist in London confirmed what the club practically knew - the captain’s Achilles tendon is ruptured and he faces a long lay-off.

“It is very unfortunate,” the chairman told The Star. “We all rate Anthony very highly and he’s going to be a big miss for us.” Mandaric said the club’s centre-back department would now be assessed as the emergency loan market gets set to open next week.

Dave Jones hopes to strengthen the centre-half pool, which is down to a recognised senior trio of Kamil Zayatte, Martin Taylor and Miguel Llera.

Players who could be pressed into service in the middle if necessary are Reda Johnson, Lewis Buxton and loan signing Jordan Spence, but all three are more at home in full back positions.

Mandaric showed willingness to sanction an unexpected, emergency loan when Spence was signed for a month just before the Middlesbrough game because Buxton had to pull out with his hamstring problem.

The chairman confirmed that Wednesday were close to transfer business on deadline day: “At the last minute we were unable to do it.

“Another reason is that we have been waiting for Premier League clubs to name their 25-man squads so there is a clearer picture of who we may get on loan.

“At the end if the day it will be the manager’s decisions. We and our supporters all know that we are short of scoring some goals and need more in midfield. We’ll sort it out.

“With some additions and the quality we have, we’ll be able to move forward.”