Published on Jan 26, 2014
Stuart Gray has been confirmed as Sheffield Wednesday's new permanent boss after securing the Owls' progression into the FA Cup Fifth Round at Rochdale.
Gray, who has been in caretaker charge since Dave Jones left at the end of November, has overseen an upturn in fortunes at Hillsborough. It has culminated in a timely FA Cup run for the three-time winners, with former AC Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu scoring the decisive goal for ten-man Wednesday at Spotland.
Joe Mattock had opened the scoring on 51 minutes but was later sent off for a second bookable offence after Michael Rose halved the deficit on the hour mark for the League Two side.
But Gray insists his future is clearer after midweek talks and he is delighted to see his side's name in the hat for the next round.
"The contract has been going backwards and forward to the lawyers, but it just needs my signature on it now," said Gray.
"Talks were finalised on Thursday, it's dragged on as such but the pleasing thing is that the players deserve all the credit as it's the players who have got me the job. You could see their commitment out there when we went down to ten men.
"Before the game I was asking the foreign boys what does the FA Cup mean to them as it means so much to our British boys. Now they realise that as the atmosphere was fantastic."
The Championship outfit took the lead six minutes after the break as Chris Maguire's in-swinging corner was helped in by Mattock among a melee of Dale defenders.
Dale's failure to deal with another corner was to prove costly on 57 minutes as Mattock's delivery flashed across the area to the feet of Onyewu and the big man fired through a crowd of bodies.
But the hosts poured forward and pulled one back as skipper Rose unleashed a right-footed strike beyond Martinez in the top corner before Mattock was handed a second yellow for a foul on Peter Vincenti.
Rochdale boss Keith Hill said: "My players can leave with their head held high and I think the supporters can too.
"It was an enormous task in the first place and I think Sheffield Wednesday gave us a lot of respect.
"It was evens and we had chances in the first half, in the second they scored from two set plays but we responded well and got the goal, when they went down to ten men they defended superbly against our extra man."
Rochdale: (4-5-1): Lillis, Bennett (Camps 75), Done, O'Connell, Eastham, Vincenti (Cummins 67), Henderson, Rose, Allen (Donnelly 59), Lund, Hogan
Substitutes not used: Rafferty, Héry, Thomson, Bunney
Goal: Rose 60
Sheffield Wednesday: (4-4-2): Martinez, Palmer, Mattock, Onyewu, Loovens, Maguire, Maghoma (Coke 82), Semedo, Lee, Lavery (Helan 67), Nuhiu (Johnson 78)
Substitutes not used: Kirkland, McCabe, McPhail, Llera
Goals: Mattock 51, Onyewu 57
Referee: Simon Hopper
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