Sheffield Wednesday: Owls face Derby backlash

Connor Wickham has given the dressing room a lift, says Dave Jones
Connor Wickham has given the dressing room a lift, says Dave Jones

David Jones insists it is “vital” that the Owls put on another show tomorrow - but he is wary of a Derby backlash.

The Wednesday boss believes that the Rams will be spurred rather than worried by his team’s thrashing of Reading.

Jones is keen that last week’s 5-2 romp be followed by more of the solid form that the Owls, now unbeaten in five games, have already shown on the road. “Another good performance is vital to us,” he said. “We‘re going away from home so we know it’s going to be tough.

“We know Derby are going to have a spell in the game. We have to match that and we have to produce what we’ve been producing away.

“We’ll go there confident, not over-confident.

“We know we’re playing a good side who like to pass it around, are quite dangerous and can score goals.”

Derby are also bidding to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat at QPR.

Jones added: “”Every player has to win his personal battle. The more of those we win, the better chance we have of performing as a team.

“It was nice to get that win at home. But it gives the opposition another incentive to try and stop you. We know we’ve got to work hard and what we’ve got to do,”

Jones is pleased with an upbeat mood in the squad and says it was a ”nice feeling” for the staff that Connor Wickham - one of the stars of the Reading game - wanted to return to the club on loan, from Sunderland.

“We had Ross Barkley as well - look how well he’s doing now - and they’re good players.

“All we can do is give them the stage and let them perform. Connor certainly performed, as Barks did.

“There might be one or two other young players who can do us a turn or be happy.

“Coming back was a lift for Connor and he lifted the dressing room, like any new signing would do.”

But news that Hull striker Sone Aluko is out until February, longer than anticipated, has cast fresh doubt over Wickham’s strike partner, Matty Fryatt.

Manager Steve Bruce has not said that he will for certain recall Fryatt early but he did say:

“I’ve got Dave Jones’ number and I’ll have a conversation with him after the weekend to see where we are...recalling him is a possibility, yes.”