Sheffield Wednesday: Owls want striker and defender

Milan Mandaric will have a meeting with Stuart Gray next week
Milan Mandaric will have a meeting with Stuart Gray next week

Milan Mandaric has shelved talks with Stuart Gray on the Owls manager’s job to focus on the Leeds game and an attempt to sign two players.

The chairman has told The Star that Gray will be in charge for Saturday’s Yorkshire derby and it is hoped that a striker and a centre half will be brought in before then.

Mandaric has been out of the country on business so has yet to have a new face-to-meeting with the caretaker boss, though Gray had expected their paths to cross on Tuesday.

But the chairman has been in touch with Gray and chief executive Paul Aldridge by phone several times a day.

Happy with Gray’s management, Mandaric said: “We are working to bring in a defender to replace Roger Johnson and a striker and are trying to complete that before the weekend, if we can.

“Connor Wickham is doing a good job and we hope we can keep him, but we feel we need another striker as well.”

On the manager’s job, he said: “I’ll talk to Stuart after the game at the weekend and we’ll sort it out. He has stabilised the team, and the players are showing a lot of good signs. We cannot ignore that.

“We’ll come to a final decision but we want to concentrate on this important game against Leeds. Stuart is a good coach who is doing a good job; I am very appreciative of that. He will stay one way or another.

“I cannot say now that he is going to stay as manager. I need to sit down with him and speak to him. It is a two-way thing.” But Gray still looks set to be appointed, and is the bookies’ hot favourite.