Sheffield Wednesday: The ‘cheer’ factor

Sheffield Wednesday boss Stuart Gray has urged his players to give their fans something to cheer about against Reading tomorrow.

Club officials believe there could be a 30,000-plus crowd at Hillsborough for the visit of the in-form Royals as the Owls chase their first home victory in the Championship this season.

A delighted owls boss Stuart Gray

A delighted owls boss Stuart Gray

It promises to be Wednesday’s biggest home attendance since May 2013, with the club having slashed their admission prices for the fixture.

Gray is looking forward to the clash and believes his squad will rise to the occasion.

He told The Star: “I’ve got every confidence in the players because I 100 per cent trust them. At the moment, they are buoyant and it’s not difficult for me to pick a team with the way the lads are performing.

“We go into the match full of confidence and will get a bumper crowd, but we have to entertain them. It’s up to the players to give the fans a lift. It will be a good atmosphere on Saturday with two good teams.

“It’s down to us to put the opposition on the back foot. I think the players will respond to a good atmosphere.

“We don’t fear anybody. We have had six clean sheets. I’m a little disappointed we haven’t scored more goals but hopefully one team will get a good beating. We are playing well, creating chances, and hopefully that will be against Reading.”

Sam Hutchinson (back) and Kieran Lee (groin) will play no part while Royston Drenthe cannot play against his parent club.

“The good thing is we are winning games without them [Hutchinson and Lee]; we are not having to rush them back,” said Gray, who has again rubbished speculation linking them with Sunderland striker Danny Graham.

“This time last season, we probably had to rush players back from injury. We just want to make sure that when they come back, they are okay. There are no guarantees, but we just have to wrap them in a bit of cotton wool.

“There’s no urgency, but they are both champing at the bit. They are training and might need a development game with a view to getting them back to the first team.

“Once I get those two fit, it will cause me problems. My bench will be stronger, and I will have to leave players in the stand. If you want to be successful, you have to have a squad.”

Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions in all parts of the ground.