Gray admits derby hangover
Sheffield Wednesday caretaker manager Stuart Gray admitted his side struggled to reach the highs of their weekend demolition of Leeds after leaving it late to see off Macclesfield in their 4-1 FA Cup win.
The Owls were a far cry from the side that put six past their Yorkshire rivals on Saturday, and could easily have been on the end of a giant-killing from their non-league opponents.
After Scott Boden's penalty for the Silkmen cancelled out Chris Maguire's early opener, the Skrill Premier side had a golden chance to take the lead, but midfielder Scott Kay inexplicably hit the crossbar from three yards out when the goal was at his mercy.
Wednesday survived the scare and booked a fourth-round tie with Rochdale thanks to late goals from Jacques Maghoma, Jermaine Johnson and Miguel Llera, which put a gloss on the evening's work.
"The hardest thing was getting the players up for it again after the high of beating Leeds, without being disrespectful to Macclesfield," Gray said.
"It mirrored the first game, we got our noses in front and we just couldn't get that second goal.
"We knew they would have a 10-minute period in the game and they did, but in the end our class showed with our pace in the side and it's nice to get four more goals in front of our own fans.
"It's nice to put it to bed."
It was another win for Gray, who continues to impress in the caretaker role at Hillsborough and he knows more success can do his chances of landing the permanent role no harm.
"All I can do is keep on winning games and if I can do that then the chairman has a decision to make," he added.
"I haven't heard anything else yet."
Macclesfield boss John Askey was left to reflect on an impressive cup run, but rued Kay's miss when his side were in the ascendency.
"I am very proud, I don't think we could have given any more than we did," he said.
"The first goal knocked us back but in the second half we had a chance to win the game but it wasn't meant to be.
"We were in the ascendency and it looked like we were more likely to win and if that chance went in we probably would have gone on to win it.
"Sometimes it's your day, sometimes it isn't. Tonight wasn't our day. On another day we get all the headlines."
Despite exiting the competition, the Silkmen's run to the third round has provided vital funds to the club.
"We have to make sure we build on that," added. "It has kept the club going, it has been vital to us and now we have to keep that going and build on what we have done."