Jones builds on Megson legacy

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Praise for Dave Jones on his start at Hillsborough. . . and just the tiniest word of caution.

Don’t suppose anyone’s forgotten how Alan Irvine won his first three games as Sheffield Wednesday boss.

That is not to decry the near-perfect impact made by Jones after two exciting and convincing home wins.

Or to knock Irvine himself, appointed at a particularly tricky time with the club on a downward spiral that led to him being sacked early in the Milan Mandaric era.

But it does show how dangerous it can be to jump to quick conclusions on a managerial change, even though Mandaric’s gamble appears to be working a treat so far.

Invariably, good starts are achieved with the existing team and players - so it would also be unfair to Gary Megson to suggest he was getting it wrong.

Remember, too, how a squad assembled by Chris Turner took the Owls to their last promotion at the current level under Paul Sturrock, who acknowledged the considerable part played by his predecessor.

But it would also be churlish not to give Jones due credit for having an instant effect, coaxing two high-scoring victories with a more liberal approach from a side that had been winning by the narrowest of margins.

The former Wolves and Cardiff boss entered in somewhat similar circumstances to Sturrock. Unusual though it is, managers are not always appointed by teams in crisis.

The difference is that whereas Sturrock was in control for most of the pre-Cardiff campaign, Jones arrived in a great position to kick-on a side looking certain to be in the play-offs and with a shot at second place.

It could only go one of two ways from there after a precarious call by Mandaric in replacing the popular Megson. Jones has tackled the job with the minimum of fuss and the maximum reward.

Just a couple of simple changes have worked for him, summed up by his reference to placing “round pegs in round holes.”

There’s the width Megson strove for, but occasionally shunned, with Mike Jones recalled to the side as a balance for exciting loanee Michail Antonio on the other flank.

Hey presto, seven goals and the team’s most impressive home performances of the season. And all without the dropped Chris O’Grady who I still rate the best all-round striker at the club.

Let’s hope Jones and his highly-rated coach Terry Burton keep the evolution going. But no-one should be in any hurry to forget who brought these players together or that he left them in third place.Indeed, I hear Megson could emerge as a shock target for Wolves in their desperate bid to stay in the Premiership.