Stuart Gray set to land Sheffield Wednesday job on a permanent basisby Jack Kitson / 14 January 2014, 13:12Tweet
After weeks months of speculation caretaker boss Stuart Gray is reportedly set to step up to the plate and take charge of Sheffield Wednesday on a permanent basis, with bookmakers no longer taking bets. The former Southampton boss has been in control of the first team since Dave Jones was sacked on December 1, and after a string of positive results he is expected to soon be unveiled as the Owls new manager.
Chairman Milan Mandaric has remained tight lipped over the identity of Jones' successor at Hillsborough. However, he will no doubt have been impressed by Wednesday's recent stunning 6-0 defeat of Yorkshire rivals Leeds - their biggest league win since a 7-1 thrashing of QPR back in 1987 - which saw Gray significantly bolster his claim to become the full-time manager.
The 53-year-old had already won an abundance of admirers following the Owl’s startling transformation. Under former boss Jones the struggling club had picked up just one league win all season, with a measly total of 11 points from 16 games. However, since Gray took up the reins Wednesday have won four and drawing two of eight second-tier matches, while they are unbeaten in their last five in all competitions. Furthermore Gray’s total tally of 14 points from eight matches surpasses Jones, who oversaw double the amount of matches. As a result Wednesday have shot up four places in the table, to 19th, and are now four points above the relegation zone.
Tonight (Tuesday) the Owls host Conference Premier side Macclesfield in an FA Cup Third Round Replay, with the winner of the tie setting up a fourth round clash away to League Two’s Rochdale. Gray’s men are the hot 2/5 favourites with practically all bookmakers, while the visitors can be backed around the 15/2 mark to come away with a shock win.