Sheffield Wednesday: Role switch Christmas gift for Maguire and Owls

Arguably the best Christmas present Chris Maguire received came on the morning of Boxing Day.

Sheffield Wednesday head coach Stuart Gray has generally utilised Maguire’s qualities in the wide positions during the 2014/15 season.

GOAL....Chris Maguire first half penalty goal

GOAL....Chris Maguire first half penalty goal

But last Friday, he opted to deploy Maguire in the No 10 role, saying he wanted the 25-year-old to expose the Seasiders lack of pace at the back.

The tactical change paid off as Maguire worked well with fellow Scot Stevie May, causing Blackpool’s problems throughout. He coolly slotted in a 39th minute penalty to claim his third goal of the campaign.

He told The Star: “It (positional change) was a bit of a surprise. That’s my normal position and preferred position. It was a great chance to play through the middle and hopefully I’ve given the manager a few problems by scoring.”

After helping Wednesday get back to winning ways, Maguire insisted he is happy to play wherever he is required.

He said: “I would love to carry on playing there. I thought the partnership between Stevie and I worked.

“If the manager decides to play me again up front, I will be delighted. If he decides to put me in a wide position, I will take that. I will work for the team rather than myself.”

Maguire felt he and May dovetailed effectively and, although Gray is looking to strengthen his forward line in the January transfer window, is determined to play a big part in solving their goal shortage.

“Stevie and I are good mates and we understand each other,” he said. “We see each other, day in and day out in training, so we know each other’s strengths.

“I thought we did some good good link up play and if we can keep that going then that would be great.”

Maguire said it was a “bonus” to get back on the score-sheet in Wednesday’s last outing.

“It is always a bonus,” he said. “I’ve said it before that I thought the only thing I was missing from my game was goals.

“When we got the penalty (against Blackpool), I knew I was definitely not missing it. It was a great opportunity to get the goal but the most important thing was the three points.

“It is what we needed after the Fulham game.”