Sheffield Wednesday have appointed Stuart Gray as their permanent manager, and will now look to appoint a director of football to assist him.
Gray was appointed as caretaker manager of the Hillsborough side following the departure of Dave Jones in December, with the short brief of getting the club out of the Championship relegation zone. This is something he has achieved with some style, and a win at Rochdale on Saturday afternoon has also booked a place in the last 16 of the FA Cup.
When Gray succeeded Jones, Wednesday were second from bottom in the table and six points from safety. However, he has since led them to five wins in 11 matches, including an incredible 6-0 home win against Leeds United, and have lost just twice. This has lifted them to 19th in the standings, and they are now two points above the drop zone.
It is hardly a surprise, then, that Milan Mandaric has confirmed Gray has been handed the job on a permanent basis under the title of head coach. Looking further ahead, the Owls chairman plans to appoint a director of football to assist the 53-year-old, something he firmly believes will benefit the club in the long-term future.
“I am very happy,” said Mandaric. “When he was initially asked to step in, his brief was to get us out of the bottom three, get some wins and clean sheets, and make some tangible progress on the pitch. Stuart has achieved all those things, he was given the chance to impress and has taken that chance with both hands.
“I am looking at the bigger picture for where this club needs to go and in a modern football environment for the long term benefit of Sheffield Wednesday. This is a big club that needs to go places and this will modernise the structure of the football side.”