SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Owls learning from experienced rivals

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WEDNESDAY must try to learn from Blackpool as they continue the challenge of combating established Championship sides.

hat is the view of Dave Jones ahead of tomorrow’s game away to Middlesbrough and other potentially tough tests.

The Owls manager feels that his newly-promoted outfit are at a stage in their development where they are trying to catch up with teams who are used to the division.

“We have come into a divison that’s far better than it was the last time the club was in it,” says Jones.

“We’ll come up against teams who are more established than us and we have to work our way, but we were in it for long periods against Blackpool and caused them all sorts of problems.

“But I think they’re a very good team. They’ve been like that for a couple of years. They have good players and we have to learn from that. They used the ball a lot better than us in the first half. That’s where we’re trying to get to, sometimes.”

The fixtures ahead do not look any easier: Middlesbrough and Forest away, followed by Leicester at home.

But the frustrating thing for Jones is that Wednesday have gone very close to a much bigger points haul from games against teams who are now in the top half of the table.

“It’s frustrating for everybody,” he said. “With a bit more calmness and better execution of passes, we’d have opened Blackpool up more.

“Chris Kirkland didn’t have a lot to do, but we played a good team who move the ball well and have good movement. Maybe a bit of naivety on our part let us down now and again.

“In the first half they moved the ball well and caused us all sorts of problems, In the second half that didn’t materialise again.

“We created six good chances, for example Michail [Antonio] was clean through and blazed it wide; Rhys (McCabe) tried to pick his spot and it’s gone just over the bar; one of their lads just flicked it away from Ross (Barkley) when he’d have had a good chance.

“Before their second goal, we gave the ball away by trying to pass it through the eye of needle when it was a better option to work it wide, and we got caught.” Jones viewed Jermaine Johnson as the culprit - but was far more critical of ref Andy D’Urso for refusing a penalty for a challenge on Antonio.