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Gray seeks Owls reaction

28 February 2014

Owls head coach Stuart Gray is looking for a reaction from his players on Saturday following defeat to Charlton in midweek.

Wednesday host mid-table Middlesbrough this weekend and Gray has stressed the importance of starting the game on the front foot.

Middlesbrough will arrive at Hillsborough in indifferent form having failed to hit the target in their last six games but have taken four points from that same period.

But Gray believes Middlesbrough have plenty in the tank to trouble any side at this level and is urging his players to be right from the start.

He told “Middlesbrough have got a lot of quality in their squad, make no mistake about that.

“If there’s one thing we do know, it will be a difficult tie for us and we’ll have to start right.

“I was disappointed with how we started the game on Monday against Charlton more than anything else but the pleasing thing is we have another game so soon afterwards.

“The players reacted well after half time but it’s our patch and we need to set the tempo. We need to be better with the ball, we need to be better closing down and we need to be putting pressure on.”

Victories over Barnsley, Reading and Huddersfield saw Wednesday move nine points clear of the Championship danger zone and the Owls’ head coach is only looking upwards.

Boro are amongst the teams in the immediate pack above Wednesday and a win at Hillsborough would see the Owls go within a point of the Riverside club.

He added: “We’ll be ready and we know what to expect. They have got some senior professionals in their squad who know the Championship.

“We have clawed many teams closer to us in the division over the past weeks and we have to continue to do that.

“We know Middlesbrough like to keep possession and we need to close and press and force errors. I’d rather win the ball around their 18 yard box than winning it around our own.

“But like I say, I’m looking for a reaction from our players this Saturday.”

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