UNDER-fire Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones has urged his players to keep their cool in tonight’s televised clash at South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley.
Ahead of the trip to Oakwell, kick-off 5.20pm, Jones is concerned by the Owls ill-discipline after watching his side concede two penalties in last weekend’s defeat to Bristol City, their seventh on the spin in the Championship.
Nonetheless, Jones is determined to arrest the club’s slide down the table in front of the Sky cameras and has stressed to his charges the importance of playing with their heads as well as hearts.
He said: “Everybody needs the points. We have to keep our heads and try and get the points. It is making sure the players perform to the best of their abilities. That’s all you can ever ask and for them not to do stupid things.”
He also criticised defender Miguel Llera for protesting too vehemently at referee Andre Marriner’s decision not to award Wednesday a penalty in the build-up to Gary Madine’s disallowed effort. The Spaniard, who was yellow-carded for his actions, has already served a one-match ban for picking up five bookings this season.
“Miguel thinks the world is against him at the moment,” admitted Jones. “He is 32 years of age. If he has not been through the mill once or twice in his career, then he is a very lucky person. He has had a bit of a boshing from all quarters this week and rightly so. Now he has to stand up and be counted.”
Jones says there is a possibility the Football Association could still punish Llera for allegedly pushing Marriner. How
ever, he says Marriner did not include the incident in his report.
More than 5,000 fans are expected to cheer on the Owls against the Reds, who are one place and three points above them in the standings, and Jones is expecting a feisty encounter. He said: “I would expect a blood and thunder game. I have never known a quiet derby game in all the ones I have been involved in. rights.”