Jones set for Wickham talks

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Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones is expected to hold talks with his Sunderland counterpart, Martin O’Neill, over extending the loan spell of striker Connor Wickham.

Striker Wickham played the final game of his Wednesday loan spell on Saturday, and scored the winner as the Owls beat Leicester City 1-0.

Wickham has now returned to training at Sunderland’s Academy of Light complex - but Jones remains hopeful that he will return, potentially with a 24-hour release clause.

Jones’ attempts may be hampered by O’Neill’s lack of attacking options at the Stadium of Light.

The Sunderland boss couldn’t name a striker on the bench as his side went down 3-1 to QPR last weekend.

Wickham could, therefore, come straight back into the squad for Sunderland’s crunch clash with Norwich City on Sunday.

One player who would welcome Wickham’s re-signing is goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.

“Connor is going to be a top player,” Kirkland, a former England international stopper, said in midweek.

“He’s got all the attributes, and it was great to see him score for us last weekend.

“If we can get him for another month, then I’m sure it will do our season a world of good.”

On Saturday, the Owls host Cardiff - who top the table.

Their position owes much to their prolific home form, however, and they have lost six games on their travels - a statistic that gives Kirkland hope that Wednesday can produce another upset.

“Anyone can beat anyone in this league,” Kirkland said.

“That’s been proven time and time again.

“You’ve just got to give yourself a chance, by doing the right things during the week in training.

“They’re top of the league and they’ve got some great players, too.

“We’re in a tough position, so it should be a tough but entertaining game.”

Wednesday go into the game 19th in the Championship table, four points above the relegation places - but also just four points away from Charlton in 12th, with a game in hand.

“The season’s not over yet, there’s a long way to go,” Kirkland insisted.

“Football has got a habit of biting you on the backside, so you can’t get too ahead of yourself.

“We just have to prepare and train as well as we can, and hope for that little bit of luck on the day.”

Wednesday’s 20-year-old midfielder Rhys McCabe, meanwhile, has been included in the Scotland Under-21s squad for their game against Luxembourg later this month.

n Follow Danny on Twitter: @dannyhall04