Gray ques­tions Owls depth

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Liz Byrnes To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­mad.net/

SH­EFFIELD Wed­nes­day man­ager Stu­art Gray in­sisted de­feat at the hands of Bolton would have lit­tle im­pact on his plans for the Owls this sum­mer, de­spite more de­fen­sive woe at Hills­bor­ough.

Bolton were 3-0 up af­ter less than half an hour, Neil Danns get­ting the ball rolling by pounc­ing in front of a static Wed­nes­day de­fence in the eighth minute.

Man-of-the-match ChungYong Lee took ad­van­tage of a mis­placed Joe Mat­tock pass to slide the ball un­der Chris Kirk­land, who mist­imed his dive, 11 min­utes later.

Liam Trot­ter then fired home a fierce, dip­ping drive from more than 30 yards in the 29th minute and al­though Mat­tock re­sponded in kind seven min­utes be­fore the break, the vis­i­tors were dom­i­nant.

It means Wed­nes­day have now con­ceded 14 goals in five games and stand 16th in the Cham­pi­onship with one match to go. Gray, though, main­tains the re­sult will have no ef­fect on what he hopes to do fol­low­ing the sea­son fi­nale.

He said: “I’ve been in the job since De­cem­ber so I’ve eval­u­ated what I’ve got and I know where I want to go with the club.

“It is just sit­ting down with the chair­man and see­ing what the budget is and what di­rec­tion, what sort of play­ers we can at­tract to the foot­ball club.

“It makes ev­i­dent our squad isn’t strong in depth.We have got so many out of con­tract and play­ers who are play­ing for con­tracts – if you look at that per­for­mance there you’d ask yourself - are they?

“It doesn’t mat­ter if you hav­ing a bad game or a poor game it doesn’t stop you run­ning and clos­ing down.

“It looks like we are go­ing to need four goals to win any games at the minute.

“You need a re­ac­tion when you go one or two goals down with 80-odd min­utes to go – there is still time as we showed against Black­burn.”

His Bolton coun­ter­part, Dougie Freed­man, was buoyed by his team’s per­for­mance which could have seen them win more con­vinc­ingly.

He said: “The hunger and de­sire was there. People could ac­cuse us of hav­ing noth­ing to play for but you’ve seen the play­ers, the de­sire they’ve shown.

“If any­thing we should have got more goals in the sec­ond half with the break­aways.

“Apart from the 10-15 minute spell Sh­effield Wed­nes­day had, it was a very con­vinc­ing win and I’m very happy one or two younger play­ers got blooded.”

Freed­man will look to add to his squad in the sum­mer al­though his fo­cus will be on young play­ers.

He said:“As a foot­ball man­ager you have to have one eye on the bal­ance sheet as well and one eye on the chal­lenge on the pitch.

“If I be­lieve the right play­ers are out there with the right de­sire to play for the foot­ball club then I will ap­proach the board.

“Not a dras­tic change though. I like younger play­ers, that enthusiasm and will­ing­ness to learn.”

Bolton went ahead when Jer­maine Beck­ford hit the ball across a static Wed­nes­day de­fence and Danns nipped in ahead of Mat­tock to poke home.

Bolton then took a two-goal lead in the 19th minute, Lee fir­ing un­der Kirk­land be­fore Trot­ter’s su­per third.

Mat­tock pulled one back but it was too lit­tle too late.

RHYS McCABE

POK­ING HOME: Neil Danns nips in ahead of Joe Mat­tock to score Bolton’s first goal

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

Lee scores STAR MAN: Chung-Yong

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