SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Only the best will do for Dave

Sheffield Wednesday.........Dave Jones(Manager)
Sheffield Wednesday.........Dave Jones(Manager)

DAVE Jones believes that his players need no special motivation from him for tomorrow’s challenge or the play-offs if that’s where they must go.

“When you are a big club in a division where everybody you play looks on you as a scalp, every game you play is a big game,” said the Owls manager.

“You have to be at your best because teams are always looking to knock you off your perch.

Carlisle will be no different at Hillsborough tomorrow as Wednesday bid to keep their bid for automatic promotion on the boil.

Jones believes that the big occasions are the ones that take care of themselves in terms of mental preparation.

He cites the play-offs as an example - though some people may wonder whether the disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion could leave players feeling a little down.

“If you have to lift players before play-offs, which are a life-changing situation, then there’s a problem,” he says.

“Nobody should worry about players being lifted because, one, it’s a possible opportunity to play at Wembley, and, two, an opportunity to get out of this division.”

But automatic promotion is still the target, with the Owls hoping that United will slip up at MK Dons and the tussle for second place will continue into the final two games of the season.

“It’s about being mentally and physically right, and the approach has to be spot on, Jones added. “Last week at Colchester we were banging on the door. We did get a second goal but unfortunately for us it was disallowed. You need a bit of luck as well.

“If those players need to be lifted or told it’s a big game, they shouldn’t be here, really. They should know.

“All we do is to try to add to it, keep it calm and keep it focussed.”

Jones has admitted in the past that sometimes he looks a laid-back character on the touchline.

“But he says he is meticulous in the way he does his job and in what he demands of players.

All he and the Owls can do tomorrow is their best towards trying to make sure they get the points, and hope that the Blades drop points.

“We’ll be at full pelt,” he said, “If we both win, it’s not going to be decided, and it goes to the last two games.”

Jones also points out that many other teams will think they have to win at this stage of the season, whether it be towards a promotion or anti-relegation cause.

He has already reached one of the targets that were in front of him when he was appointed a Gary Megson’s successor.

He reflects: “The club were coming off the back of a good win against local rivals, which was important at the time. It was what had gone on in the previous seven or eight games that was the concern.

“My remit was to win as many matches as we could.”

With Carlisle trying to move up two places to finish at least in the top six, the Owls manager says: “They’re a decent footballing side. We have seen them on TV, watched a couple of DVD’s we’ve got, and spo

ken to the people who have watched them play for us.

“Like anybody in this division, they’re a match for anyone on their day.”

Jones is glad to have the options that Keith Treacy and Ryan Lowe will provide after missing last week’s draw at Colchester. But he could name an unchanged

starting line-up.