Sheff Wed (10) v Cardiff (13)
Will Keane’s second-half penalty cancelled out Kenwyne Jones’ early header and ensured Milan Mandaric did not end his four-year reign as Wednesday owner on a sour note, but Gray’s side squandered enough chances to have notched a first league win in four.
Mandaric sold his 100 per cent stake in the club to Dejphon Chansiri last week for a reported £30million and the Thai businessman, whose family’s company is the world’s biggest producer of tuna, has already funded the arrival of four players.
“If the figures are right, allegedly it’s been sold for £30million, I don’t know how many millions, but you’d imagine these people have got some clout,” said Gray, set for talks with the new owners next week.
“They’ve obviously helped me bring four players in, some on signings as well on three-and-a-half year contracts and they don’t want to stop there.
“When you’ve heard the chairman (Mandaric) speaking, he’s handing it over to proper football people who want to get to the Premier League, like I do and the players do.”
Mandaric, who rescued the club from administration in December 2010, made an emotional farewell speech on the pitch prior to kick off but Cardiff were determined to spoil the party and struck the first blow through Jones’ seventh-minute header.
Wednesday are finding goals hard to come by this season and several golden chances went begging again on Hillsborough’s poor playing surface before new signing Sergiu Bus won a second-half penalty after being shoved by Matthew Connolly 12 minutes after stepping off the bench.
Keane, on loan from Manchester United, steered home his first goal for the club from the resulting penalty and he, Chris Maguire, Lewis McGugan, Sam Hutchinson and Tom Lees all saw efforts saved or fired off target.
Gray added: “I should be sat here talking about three points because we dominated the second half, we’d got them penned in and the only thing you’re worrying about then is maybe getting done on a counter-attack.
“As we saw, our final ball again on this pitch can cause you problems, for ourselves and probably for the punters in the stand as well.”
The point gained for Cardiff did little to ease the pressure on under-fire manager Russell Slade, whose side have now gone five without victory after four straight defeats, with only one league win in their last 10 matches.
Slade was pleased with his players’ resolve after long spells under pressure, agreed the pitch played its part in a scrappy encounter and was unhappy with referee Kevin Wright’s penalty decision.
“On two counts really,” Slade said. “My centre-half’s taken one in the face and he may not have seen that, but really he (Connolly) has got his hands up but he didn’t touch him and it’s a really poor decision from our point of view.
“But our attitude was first class from the start, arguably we were the better side first half, creating a couple of openings, and our desire and character, our togetherness.
“We were under a lot of pressure for the last 10 or 15 minutes, but we stood firm and I was pleased with that.”