Sheffield Wednesday: Best of Lee to come, says Jones

Mr Versatile: Kieran Lee has played in three different positions
Mr Versatile: Kieran Lee has played in three different positions
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KIERAN Lee has been a hit in midfield for the Owls - but Dave Jones feels that he can get even better.

The former Oldham star who has now played in three different positions just needs to believe in himself more, says his boss.

“Kieran is a good player,” Jones told the Star. “He came from Oldham and it was just a matter of him adjusting to the size of this club.

“We knew he had a period where he need to settle in.

“If he gets a bit more confident about himself and the ability he has, then he’ll go even further and get stronger for this club.”

Lee could not break into the side at right back regularly - that was the position for which he was best known at Oldham.

But he found a niche in the Wednesday line-up on the right side of midfield, during the team’s revival.

He lost his place for the game at Birmingham after Connor Wickham was signed and Michail Antonio was switched back to the wing.

Lee was recalled on the flank against Crystal Palace, with Jeremy Helan left out, when Jones wanted to strengthen the team defensively on the right to combat the attacking strengths of the Eagles. Antonio moved to the left wing.

The return of Helan for the Forest game saw Lee go out again, but the use of only one central striker for the last two matches, at Watford and Leicester, and the addition of a third central midfield player meant a job in the middle three for Lee, where he has by no means looked out of place.

He has the touch and energy to cope with the position, and defensive instincts nurtured by his times in a back four.

With a bit more steadiness, he would also have got himself a goal or two: for example he hit a good chance over the bar in the first half at Watford.

Lee may well find his place under pressure from a midfield specialist at some point but he has certainly proved himself to be a important and versatile member of the Owls set-up.

Jones acknowledged the 24-year-old’s form after the win at Leicester.

But the manager had already volunteered the remark: “We had a game plan. We didn’t switch off. The two centre halves were magnificent. They all were. The players had to put a shift in, against a very good side.”

Jones’s tribute to his two central defenders was of course aimed at Anthony Gardner and Miguel Llera.

Meanwhile, Wednesday may have been glad to keep Leicester centre forward Chris Wood goal-less in last Saturday’s match, but Owls fan Scott Wasilewski has reason to be grateful for the New Zealander’s scoring exploits in January.

Wood, who scored seven goals during the month, helped Scott win the Phones 4u Fantasy Football Championship Manager of the Month award for January.

Prizes are awarded monthly, in a competition endorsed by the Football League.

Scotts’s team, RoadToThePrem, beat 40,000 other teams and he won £500, a trophy, ground tour and match tickets.

Three Wednesday players have aided him this season: Jermaine Johnson, Miguel Llera and Reda Johnson, who scored at Hull.