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Gray keen on Wednesday job

Stuart Gray had no hesitation in staking his claim for the vacant Sheffield Wednesday job despite seeing the Owls go down to a 1-0 defeat against Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough.

Last Updated: 07/12/13 at 19:08 Post Comment

Stuart Gray: Wants to take over the vacant managers position

Stuart Gray: Wants to take over the vacant managers position

Simon Cox's 48th-minute goal was enough to guide Forest into the top six while the Owls remained in the bottom three and facing a long, hard battle against relegation.

It brought to an end a tumultuous week for Wednesday with Dave Jones' departure on Sunday followed by the news that sent fans across the city reeling when former Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock became front-runner to be named as replacement.

Warnock guided the Blades for eight seasons during which he had a fractious relationship with Wednesday fans.

Chairman Milan Mandaric confirmed Warnock was on the five-man shortlist but he withdrew from contention on Friday citing his affinity for the Blades and with Owls fans split on his possible appointment.

Gray revealed he had not had an interview for the job but that Mandaric had asked him before Saturday's match to be in charge until at least Watford next week.

He also made no bones of his desire to take the job on a permanent basis.

"Of course - it is a fantastic football club," he said. "See if you can get it going and get the crowd on their feet and chanting and such.

"We let the crowd down today with our quality in front of goal."

Gray added: "The chairman asked me to take charge for today.

"I'd imagine I'll probably be in charge for the Watford game unless I hear different.

"We'll lick our wounds and I'll get the team prepared and organised for the game at Watford.

"He said that before today's result so I don't know if that changes anything.

"If the chairman says I am on the shortlist then I must have a good chance.

"Whether that is four or 40 I don't know."

Of Saturday's match, which left Wednesday second from bottom, Gray believed the team deserved better although he rued a lapse in concentration that resulted in Forest's goal.

He said: "With the effort, commitment and application of the players (we deserved an equaliser).

"Where we did let ourselves down was the amount of decent possession we had in the final third but our final ball lacked a bit of guile.

"It was a game of few chances. The disappointing thing is the manner in which we conceded the goal.

"We'd got enough bodies back but Greg Halford broke away, slid a ball across and we have been punished.

"Forest are a good side, they've got quality players.

"But you have got to have full concentration, you have to come off the pitch mentally and physically shattered.

"One lapse has cost us."

Opposite number Billy Davies insisted he had little interest in Forest's move into the top six.

He said: "I understand you guys need to sell newspapers but when I look at the situation I don't get too excited when we are in the top six, we go out of the top six, when we win, when we draw, when we lose.

"My message to the players has been the same; keep working away, keep ticking along, there'll be highs, there'll be lows, there'll be ups, there'll be downs.

"If anyone thinks for a second that come the end of the season the current league positions will be where they are, I think they are kidding themselves on.

"There is a long way to go."

While bemoaning referee Lee Probert dismissing two apparently strong calls for a penalty, Davies did praise the way his side had approached the game.

"They (Sheffield Wednesday) had a fantastic result against Leicester, their tails are up, they are a strong team," he said.

"You have to come here and put in a man's performance

"I thought today we put in a man's performance

"I thought we competed very, very well with a club that has some very good

players and a club that is probably sitting in the wrong position."

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