A strong Wi-Fry connection can stand Owls in good stead

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Owls boss Dave Jones believes his side must forget their five-star showing against Reading when they travel to Derby this weekend.

The Owls delivered their first Championship win of the season in some style last Saturday, when they put five past promotion-chasing Reading at Hillsborough.

Sheffield Wednesday v Reading.....Owls goalscoers Matty Fryatt,Michail Antonio,Connor Wickham

Sheffield Wednesday v Reading.....Owls goalscoers Matty Fryatt,Michail Antonio,Connor Wickham

Matty Fryatt celebrated extending his loan spell from Hull City with two goals, and Connor Wickham marked his second Wednesday ‘debut’ with a strike of his own after returning on a temporary basis from Sunderland.

The thumping victory took Wednesday out of the Championship bottom three, albeit only on goal difference, and they face another stiff test of their survival credentials when they travel to face Steve McClaren’s men.

But Jones - who believes “belief and hard work” were catalysts behind last Saturday’s victory - will take heart from the fact that Derby have only won one league game on home soil so far this season.

“There’s no magic formula to this division,” Jones, speaking in the aftermath of Saturday’s victory, insisted.

“We kept believing, and we kept working hard. It’s as simple as that.

“We felt a little hard done to in some previous games, and we felt we also let ourselves down at times by giving away sloppy goals.

“But we knew all along that it was there; it was just a matter of time until it all came together.

“But now, we’ve got to start again at Derby.”

The Owls will come up against in-form former Sheffield United hitman Jamie Ward at Pride Park.

Ward has hit three goals in his last three games, and netted against Wednesday while playing for United in a 3-2 win back in September 2009.

One of his 12 goals last season also came against Wednesday, at Hillsborough in a 2-2 draw back in February.

But, perhaps crucially, the Owls have two hitmen in confident form themselves - and the only question remaining is whether Jones decides to play them both at Pride Park.

The Owls boss has favoured a lone frontman system away from home this season, but could be tempted to plump for two and try to force the issue.

Fryatt has extended his loan at Wednesday until the end of the month, while Wickham’s situation will be reviewed in the New Year, and football pundit Steve Claridge said: “Sometimes the loan system can be castigated but, in the instance of Fryatt and Wickham, it has helped a manager get a result when it was much needed.”

Claridge, who had a trial at the Owls under Paul Sturrock, added: “These two boys have been on the periphery a little bit at their parent clubs, but all of a sudden they’ve stepped back into the limelight, which is where they’re used to being, and they really took centre stage.

“Although they’ve only recently got together, there are already signs of a blossoming partnership developing there.”

Giant defender Martin Taylor, meanwhile, has returned to the Owls after his loan spell at League One side Brentford expired.

Taylor joined the Bees in early September, and scored two goals in his six games for Uwe Rösler’s side.

A Bees statement read: “All at Brentford FC would like to thank Martin for his contribution and wish him all the best for the future.”

Taylor’s loan spell was extended in October, but he hasn’t featured in any of Brentford’s last four games - which have yielded four wins.