Wanderers boss puts brave face on things

Jose Semedo of Sheffield Wednesday battles it out with Wanderers pair Mark Davies and Jay Spearing
Jose Semedo of Sheffield Wednesday battles it out with Wanderers pair Mark Davies and Jay Spearing

Stuart Gray suffered 50 shades of frustration as Sheffield Wednesday had to settle for a 0-0 draw against winless Bolton instead of taking all three points.

The Owls managed more than 20 shots on goal leaving mystified Gray to admit: “I cannot believe it finished 0-0.”

Keeper Andy Lonergan, called up after Hungary international Adam Bogdan broke a finger in training on Friday, produced fine saves to deny Atdhe Nuhiu, Liam Palmer and Stevie May.

Chris Maguire and Tom Lees had efforts cleared off the line by Matt Mills and Dean Moxey as Wanderers hung on grimly for only their second point of the campaign.

“You want your midfielders and forwards sticking the ball in the net and doing what they get paid for,” said Gray with a rueful smile.

“We totally dominated the game but we need to be more ruthless. I am disappointed we have dropped two points because it was such a one-sided game.

“We do shooting in training every day and you need a bit of calmness. The most important touch of a footballer is the last touch and we were trying to smash it in the net. Top, top players just roll it into the net.”

Substitute Royston Drenthe, signed on loan from Reading, was a lively introduction but suffered the same fate as his new team mates. “He could have had a hat-trick,” added Gray after his side’s third draw in six league outings.

“In training he has been picking the bottom corner but for some reason he was lashing at it. He will cause people problems but we have to drown him with the ball.”

Drenthe was also the recipient of a heavy challenge from Moxey, previously booked by referee Andy Haines, but who escaped seeing red. “The tackle was over the top,” added Gray.

Bolton managed just one notable goal bound effort but Kieren Westwood made a comfortable save from skipper Jay Spearing’s long-range, second-half effort. Predictably, Wanderers, rooted in the bottom three, were jeered off.

However, boss Dougie Freedman put a brave face on his troubles, not helped by Bogdan’s freak accident which will sideline him for six weeks and a lack of funds to bolster his squad.

“I thought the performance was good and we were very brave on the ball,” said the Scot. “But we could have created one or two more opportunities and that was what was lacking from our performance.

“They asked a lot of questions of us defensively but I thought we coped very well. Did we do enough to win the game? Probably not.

“But I don’t think we deserved to lose. We came up against a very good team, especially away from home.

“I can understand the fans’ reaction but I have to work in the real world. I am trying to get a team here with good spirit because I know it will be tough and I think we showed that.

“We are in a cycle right now where I have got to manage the whole club and as long as I see commitment I can’t ask for much more.”