Sheffield Wednesday: Bothroyd pays ‘best manager’ tribute to Jones

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FORMER Owls loanee Jay Bothroyd has paid tribute to manager Dave Jones after his return to parent club Queens Park Rangers - insisting the Wednesday boss is “the best manager in the Championship”.

England international Bothroyd joined the Owls on a temporary deal in August last year, and scored just one goal in 14 appearances during his time at Hillsborough.

Bothroyd has now returned to Rangers to aid their bid for survival in the Premier League - but took to Twitter to publicly show his support for Jones, who was also his manager at Cardiff City.

“Thanks to all Owls fans for your support,” Bothroyd said.

“I hope that the team can push up the league - everyone has to stick together, from the cleaners to the fans, and most importantly the players.

“Dave Jones is probably the best manager in the Championship, and I am sure he will make Wednesday successful in the years to come.”

Jones’ position as Wednesday manager has become the subject of increased speculation, and a run of seven straight defeats late last year didn’t help his cause.

The Owls did recover to register three successive wins - including a vital away victory at fellow relegation rivals Barnsley - before losing 2-0 to Burnley at Hillsborough on New Year’s Day.

“Maybe it was one game too many,” Jones, who yesterday learned that Miguel Llera’s agent expects the defender to leave in January, said.

“We looked flat, and lacked a bit of spark. No one grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck.

“It’s been a hard Christmas period, but too many people had an off day and we can’t afford that.”

Jones is now expected to rest some key members of his squad, for their FA Cup tie with MK Dons at Hillsborough on Saturday.

“It’s important now to regain that momentum,” the Owls boss said.

“We worked so hard over a short period of time, and we had a great opportunity to get three points at home, so that’s disappointing.

“One or two of the players may need a little break now; it’s been a rough period for them. The games have come thick and fast and we’ve been on the road a lot.”

One player who is hoping not to be rested when Karl Robinson’s Dons come to Hillsborough, however, is Kieran Lee.

Lee has played just six times for Wednesday this season, and said: “It’s definitely been hard watching from the sidelines, and I want to keep my place for the FA Cup game - I want to play as many games as I can, and I know the lads feel the same.”

* Follow Danny on Twitter: @dannyhall04