Sheffield Wednesday: New boy targets World Cup spot

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Martin Taylor and Kamil Zayatte are both back in training but Stuart Gray welcomes the addition of Oguchi Onyewu to his centre-back department.

Onyewu, known as Guchi, sees his spell with the Owls as a chance for him to show he is worthy of a place in the USA’s squad for the World Cup finals.

Aged 31, Onyewu is already a seasoned international and a colleague of Wednesday’s American former loan midfielder Stuart Holden.

Gray did his homework by talking to Holden, and the QPR management duo of Harry Redknapp and Kevin Bond, as Onyewu was at Loftus Road for two and a half months before becoming a free agent and joining the Owls on a contract to the end of the season.

Said the Owls caretaker manager: “Guchi has been behind a line of decent centre halves at QPR. He wants to get into the American national team for the World Cup, so he’s keen.

“He’s got to force himself into the (Wednesday) team. It’s having that competition. We went into Saturday’s game with just Glenn Loovens and Miguel Llera (as the only fit centre halves); you need that competition; every player needs it to keep him on his toes.”

Onyewu will need his match fitness honing. “He’s been on the bench five times, for QPR, so it shows you he was close enough for them,” added Gray.

“But nothing beats that match sharpness, He will need games, but he’s experienced enough and knowledgeable enough to play the position, He’s a fit boy, he comes highly recommended from QPR and he’s hungry.”

Onyewu cannot figure in tonight’s game against Macclesfield because he was not registered with Wednesday at the time of the initial game between the clubs.

It is planned that Taylor and Zayatte, having recovered from injuries, will play in an under 21 match next week.