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Stuart Gray's Hillsborough tribute

12 April 2014

Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray praised everyone involved in the 3-3 draw with Blackburn Rovers as football paid tribute to the 96 fans who died in the Hillsborough tragedy.

With the 25th anniversary of the tragedy approaching this week, both clubs paid a fitting tribute with a minute's silence and the laying of wreaths at the ground where 96 Liverpool fans died in the FA Cup semi-final with Nottingam Forest on April 15 1989.

After seeing his side come back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 in the Sky Bet Championship in front of 22,792 fans, Gray said: "No father, no mother, or no son or daughter should lose anybody at a football game.

"It was just a sad, sad occasion, what happened 25 years ago - but I think the players played their part, the fans played their apart and both clubs played their part today."

Gray admitted his side had defended badly in the first half but also said they deserved credit for coming back to earn a point.

He continued: "We got punished for our mistakes. The first goal was embarrassing.

"Credit to my players. They kept going and kept going. I have just got to give my players a pat on the back because they kept going.

"I said to my players at half-time you've got 45 minutes to go. I said there is no hiding place out there, you've got to roll your sleeves up."

A sombre Gary Bowyer set his sights on four wins from Blackburn's remaining games to keep a late push for the promotion play-offs on course.

"With four games to go we have just to try and win all four games and that's all we can do," said the Blackburn manager.

Bemoaning the fact his side had been pegged back from 3-1 ahead to draw 3-3, he added: "You are never safe and we just proved that.

"If you look at the game as a whole we have had enough chances to win it. It was naive in terms of our defending towards the end of the game."

Atdhe Nuhiu scored twice and Lewis Buxton was also on the scoresheet for the home side. Blackburn's goals came from Jordan Rhodes, Craig Conway and Michael Keane.

The point helped Blackburn in their late bid to claim a place in the Championship play-offs and a return to the top flight for the former Premier League winners.

For Wednesday their share of the spoils keeps them sufficiently clear of the relegation spots to mean they can probably finish the season without last day nerves.

With former England goalkeepers Paul Robinson and Chris Kirkland both doing their part to earn their teams a point the home side could have snatched a victory in the dying seconds.

Minutes after drawing his side level with his second goal of the game, Nuhiu saw Robinson beat away his late effort which nearly capped a rousing comeback from the home side with a victory which had seemed very unlikely after a poor first half showing.

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