Sturrock wields axe
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sheffield Wednesday boss Paul Sturrock has axed four players from his squad.Sheffield Wednesday manager Paul Sturrock has axed four players following a month-long assessment of his Hillsborough squad.
The former St Johnstone, Dundee United, Plymouth Argyle and Southampton boss has also told the rest of his squad they are on trial for their futures with the League One outfit.
Sturrock has told goalkeeper Ola Tidman, striker Jon Shaw and defenders Craig Armstrong and Chris Carr they are surplus to requirements with The Owls.
The Scot has also given Guy Branston and Richard Evans a month to prove their worth following recent injuries while Graeme Lee will also need to prove himself at the club.
Striker Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu will have talks on his future with Sturrock once his loan at Preston North End finishes and Adam Proudlock and Paul Smith will remain on the transfer list.
Sturrock has told players with one-year contracts they have until April to prove themselves while those on longer-term deals have until the end of the season to secure their futures with Wednesday.
The Owls boss revealed that another major overhaul of the squad may be needed in the summer - with a transfer window likely to be imposed on The Football League for next season.
"Any player who has more than a year on his contract is basically on trial," Sturrock told the Yorkshire Post.
"The transfer window looks like it's going to be an important factor on the club next year, so I have got to be safe in my mind that the players who have contracts at Sheffield Wednesday are the right ones to take the club forward.
"The pressure is on these players if they wish to still be playing for Sheffield Wednesday at the start of next season.
"Anybody who is out of contract next summer, my decisions will be made on them by the middle of April.
"Guy (Branston) has obviously been out a long time injured at the club, so we are giving him another month to prove his fitness and his playing capabilities.
"I do not want players at this football club who are surplus to requirements.
"I have got a great Under-18 team who are sat second in their league, I would like to bring them on much quicker by letting them play a lot of reserve football."
One player that has been offered a new deal at Wednesday is defender Richard Wood, who has impressed Sturrock over the past month.
Sturrock, meanwhile, has come to the defence of under fire chairman Dave Allen after participating in the club's board meeting on Wednesday.
The Scot explained that the enthusiasm of Allen was what prompted him to take the manager's job at Wednesday and that the criticism Allen has been taking is unfair.
"This is me talking. This is not anything that has been forced upon me," Sturrock added.
"I came to this football club for one reason. The commitment, ambition and zest of this chairman in my first meeting with him excited me. It swayed me to come here.
"I feel sorry for the man. He is a hard-working man who has been successful. He has put in an awful lot of his own money and is very, very frustrated that the success he has had in business has not come to fruition so far for Sheffield Wednesday.
"No man puts millions and millions of pounds into a football club and tries not to be successful.
"I would call upon all shareholders and fans to get behind this chairman.
"I would like to think he will have the backing of the supporters. Even the people who have their grievances, who I know are passionate Sheffield Wednesday fans - this is not helping the club in any way.
"In the end, we're all in this together and I would like to think there can be a ceasefire of some sort."
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