Sheffield Wednesday: Owls legend fears O’Grady backlash

David Hirst is wary of the threat Owls old boy Chris O'Grady will pose on Saturday.
David Hirst is wary of the threat Owls old boy Chris O'Grady will pose on Saturday.

Owls old boy David Hirst fears striker Chris O’Grady will come back to haunt Sheffield Wednesday in their bottom-of-the-table clash at Barnsley this weekend.

Saturday’s lunch-time South Yorkshire tussle will be the first meeting between Barnsley and Wednesday since O’Grady’s permanent summer switch.

The Nottingham-born player left Wednesday in June for a six figure fee, penning a two-year deal with the Reds following a productive loan spell at Oakwell during the 2012/13 campaign.

O’Grady has registered seven goals in 14 starts this term, including a double in Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Middlesbrough. He also played an instrumental role in Barnsley avoiding the drop last season.

Back in the summer, O’Grady said he would not celebrate if he scored against Wednesday this term.

Hirst, who represented both Wednesday and Barnsley during his playing days, has told The Star: “I am not a gambling man myself but it is probably worth having a bet on Chris scoring on Saturday. That’s just what happens in football.

“He will probably come back to bite Wednesday whether that’s by getting the winner or just wanting to prove a point to Owls boss Dave Jones. He didn’t have the greatest of times at Wednesday, although he chipped in with a few goals, but he has been a breath of fresh air for Barnsley. He has scored seven goals so far which is a great return.

“He’s a great player and workhorse. He will not stop working for the team. He helped keep Barnsley up and looks the key to them staying up this year.”

Reds boss David Flitcroft said O’Grady was “unplayable at times” versus Middlesbrough.

“People said to me that Chris couldn’t score goals in the Championship,” he said. “But he loves proving people wrong. He gave Middlesbrough a lot of problems.”

Jones, the Sheffield Wednesday boss, has previously stated that he let O’Grady leave so he could strengthen other areas of his squad.