SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Owls boss Dave Jones positive in the face of adversity

Unfamiliar: Dave Jones is more used   to being at the top
Unfamiliar: Dave Jones is more used to being at the top

DAVE Jones has confirmed that the Owls’ lean spell is the longest run of defeats in his managerial career.

The Wednesday boss was more used to challenging at the the top of the table with his previous clubs and, last season, with the Owls.

So he calls it “a learning curve” for him as he attempts to steer the club out of the bottom three and back up the table.

“I don’t like the situation; I’m sure the players don’t; I’m positive the fans don’t; I know the chairman doesn’t,” he says.

But Jones has confidence in his team’s ability to rise again and is heartened by the togetherness being shown by all concerned.

“It’s hard for everyone,” he says. “We all want to do well. When you’ve had something nice for many months you forget what the bad times were like. It’s all about sticking in there, fighting and scrapping, and making sure you don’t lose all the good things,

“On Saturday at Wolves, we looked a lot more solid. It was a better performance all round by everybody. There were a lot more positives than negatives.

“Sometimes you have to step back: the biggest mistake is to chop and change. When you analyse the games, we’re not that far away, and it’s also a case of trying to get everybody back and fielding our strongest team; we don’t really know what that it is at the moment, because we’ve had to make changes because of injuries.”

Kieran Lee (gashed ankle) is likely to miss out again, and Jones said that Reda Johnson (bruised foot) will not make it.

Lewis Buxton (hamstring) is not far away from a comeback but is more likely to be in contention for Saturday’s visit of Hull than tonight’s trip to Burnley.

Jones will also check on Rhys McCabe (thigh), and on whether an illness bug rules anyone out.

The performance at Wolves was so encouraging that he is not likely to make profound, unforced changes, so Jermaine Johnson could well get another game after his success as the stand-in right back.

Jones is pleased with the spirit in the camp: “The lads are all right. They’re digging in. They know they have to. They’re a great bunch.”

From a personal perspective, the former Stockport, Southampton, Wolves and Cardiff boss says: “I haven’t been on a run like this before. I’m normally at the other end of the table. It might be a learning curve for me as well.

“Are we concerned? Yes, we are, because you want the players to perform to the best of their ability.

“We’re all in together, not just the players, and the feeling I get is that everyone is together, the fans, the lot, which is great.

“It’s still early in the season.”

Teams and ref

CLARETS (possible): Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Wallace, McCann, Stanislas, Paterson, Vokes, Austin (4-4-2).

OWLS (possible): Kirkland, J Johnson, Taylor, Gardner, Mattock, Semedo, Antonio, Barkley, Pecnik, O’Grady, Bothroyd (4-1-4-1).

David Coote (Nottingham): Played as a batsman for Nottinghamshire youth sides and comes from a cricketing family, but caught the football refeering bug and officiated in the Northern Counties East, among other leagues, before rising to the Football League list.