SHEFFIELD Wednesday hope that Anthony Gardner will be fit for Saturday’s big match against Bristol City.
But if he does not make it then Dave Jones will have no qualms about relying on Martin Taylor.
The 6ft 4ins defender, whose nickname is Tiny, filled in capably for Gardner at Cardiff as he and centre-back partner Miguel Llera kept experienced strikers Craig Bellamy and Heidar Helguson quiet. Jones had thought that Gardner might be fit in time for the Cardiff match but his hamstring was still troubling him slightly.
The Wednesday boss is “more hopeful” that the ex-England man will be ready for this weekend’s bottom-three clash.
“But Tiny came in and looked strong and did all the things we know he can do,” said Jones. “He was up against a very quick player but I didn’t see them get in behind us.”
Taylor and Gardner are among players who have arrived this year not expecting to find themselves in a relegation battle.
Gardner said: “I’ve been in one before, later in the season when I was at Hull in the Premier League. But I haven’t really been in this sort of position before this early in the season.
“It’s early but if you keep losing games you can find yourselves adrift.
“We can turn it around, But everyone needs to stick together - the players, fans, management, for us to move forward.”
Gardner had to stay off at half time of the game against Watford last week but never expected his hamstring niggle to keep him out for long.