DAVE Jones launches into his home debut as Wednesday manager tonight with a challenge for his players.
The visit of Bury sees Jones taking charge fully for the first time after he watched from the stand at Rochdale.
Now he wants to home in on an improved performance and is calling on players to show him what they can do as he continues to assess the squad and ponder whether he will move into the loan market.
He says the response of the squad to his arrival has been “fantastic” as players compete for places and he knows that, in training or in games, men who were out of favour under Gary Megson will be eager to catch his eye.
“The players have an opportunity to prove their worth,” he said. “That goes down to those who were discarded by the previous manager, or whatever. Sometimes you get a fresh lease of life and pick up.
“It’s important to work hard, knuckle down and show what you can do.”
Jones denied claims he could be planning to send loan signing John Bostock back to Spurs or try to sign Cardiff striker Rob Earnshaw. But he already has an idea of what he thinks would strengthen the squad: “Then it’s whether you can get them in.”
However in the main he is looking to “tweak” operations: “What I’ve said to the players is they’re in a fantastic position. I’m looking to add to that.
“They seem a really good bunch. They all stick together. You can see that in training. They work hard.
“The biggest thing we have seen so far is there’s a lot of competition. I’ve also said to them they’ve done all right so far; can they go one stage further?”
Jones told of many expressions of support from fans and well-wishers: “I appreciate it very much.”