Sheffield Wednesday: ‘Busy’ Jones expects Owls transfer activity

Leroy Lita hopes to start against Brighton on Saturday
Leroy Lita hopes to start against Brighton on Saturday

Sheffield Wednesday are still confident of making signings after tonight’s transfer deadline, manager Dave Jones has revealed.

Jones, who yesterday brought Manchester City youngster Jeremy Helan back to Hillsborough on a youth loan for the rest of the season, expects to be “very busy” in the run up to tonight’s 11pm deadline.

But from next Friday, clubs in the Football League can still sign players on loan - and Jones said: “All our business might not be done before the end of the window.

“There are one or two players from Premier League clubs, and we’ve been told that if they’re not sold before the deadline then they may loan them out, depending on their situation.

“It’s not a bad situation to be in, we can look at it after the window closes and see if it benefits us.”

As per his usual transfer policy, Jones refused to divulge the identities of those players in his thoughts but admitted that he is looking to strengthen the Owls in every position.

“I hope to be very busy before the deadline,” Jones said.

“We’ve had offers for some of our players to go out on loan, and we have to be careful that we don’t leave ourselves short anywhere.

“But we have to consider everything, and consider whether it frees up a bit of money to go for someone else.”

Those loan offers are thought to concern striker Gary Madine and Chris O’Grady, with League One side Coventry City confirming an interest in Madine. Swindon Town have also been linked with Madine but financial restraints at Paolo Di Canio’s side may affect any potential temporary switch for the 22-year-old striker.

Privately, Jones has refused to rule out the possibility of still selling players - if the deal is right for the club.

At the time of writing, Jones’ main transfer activity has been bringing in Helan, and negotiating Spanish striker Rodri’s return to Barcelona B.

“I’m very disappointed,” Jones said.

“He came in and started brightly, but it can happen.”

Helan’s return to Hillsborough was something of a surprise, as he appeared to be on the verge of a permanent switch to promotion-chasing Watford.

After the transfer window closes tonight, Jones will be looking forward to returning to the relative normality of league action when Brighton and Hove Albion visit Hillsborough on Saturday.

“We’re just continuing to work really hard,” Jones, speaking after last weekend’s 2-1 victory against Charlton Athletic at The Valley, said.

“We know it’s a tough battle for us, but we’ve got to keep going and try to climb the division.

“There’s lots of things going on inside the football club, and as I said, we’re a work in progress all the time.

“We’ve got to stick to that. I know some fans want it now, as do I, but it’s a slow process sometimes.

“We can be better in certain areas, of course, and we’ll continue to work on those. But we’re slowly starting to grind it out, and we look quite solid.

“We’ve got to keep that going.”

Unlikely wins on Tuesday evening for Barnsley and Bristol City, against Millwall and Watford respectively, have kept Wednesday firmly in the relegation mire.

Jones’ men sit 20th in the Championship table, four points clear of the drop zone.

Leroy Lita, the on-loan striker from Swansea City, marked his Owls debut at Charlton with the winning goal, and is expected to make his home debut against seventh-placed Brighton.

“It’s another tough game against Brighton, but I’m looking forward to playing at Hillsborough,” Lita said.

“I’ve only played there a couple of times, for Norwich and for Middlesbrough, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Lita, who scored at Hillsborough for Norwich in a 3-2 Wednesday win back in November 2008, added: “I could sit at Swansea and do nothing, just training, but I don’t want to do that.

“I want to play football; I know what I can do, and I believe in myself.”

Wednesday’s game at Millwall, meanwhile, has been postponed due to the Lions’ FA Cup commitments.

The game, originally scheduled for February 16, has to be switched as Millwall are scheduled to visit Luton in the fifth round of the cup on that weekend. A new date has yet to be arranged.