Gray questions Owls depth
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.
POKING HOME: Neil Danns nips in ahead of Joe Mattock to score Bolton’s first goal
Lee scores STAR MAN: Chung-Yong