New Wednesday manager Dave Jones aims to win over the fans who have slammed the sacking of Gary Megson and is making a promise to them and all other supporters.
He pledges to give “every last drop” to the Owls cause and hopes that they will back him in the same way that they have supported the club and previous managers over many years.
Jones feels privileged to have joined a “proper club” and sees his three-and-a-half-year contract as bringing a chance not only to step up the promotion campaign this season but to keep them on an upward path towards the Premier League.
Knowing that many fans were upset by Megson’s exit, he told The Star that his message to them is: “It’s happened. I can’t change that. They can’t change it.
“I’m only a custodian of this club now. They’re the supporters; they come week in week out, year in, year out.
“The day I leave, I’ll go to another club and give everything I’ve got for that club. But the supporters never leave.
“They will expect, and rightly so, every last drop I’ve got. I promise I’ll give them that, and I hope they’ll give me the support they have given everybody else over many years.”
Jones’ target heading into last 13 games of the season is to pursue a top-two spot.
“You chase it down,” he said. “I’ve told the players that, while the points are there, you chase everything down; you push and push.
“This can be a life-changing experience for everybody. Hopefully you get into the next division and then push on for the Premier League.
“This club has been in decline for a long time. Nothing happens overnight. But there’s a feeling. When you get that feeling, it’s something that says this is the right club for you. I had the same feeling when
“I went to Cardiff, who
are now an established Championship club pushing for the Premier League.
“If I can achieve that at this club, that will be something else to be proud of.”
Jones’ task begins with him taking a watching role at Rochdale today, with caretaker boss Chris Evans and coach Neil Thompson having prepared and selected the team.
The new boss will then begin to assess in what way he can make an impact on a side who are already
third in the table. “I’m grateful to come to a club who are in such a good position,” he said. “When do you come to a big club and there’s no pressure?
“I’ve got to win the supporters over whatever position we’re in by getting results and building on what’s been done already.”
He accepts that it is a big challenge to try to break into the top two with the Owls trailing Charlton and United with 13 games remaining. “It would be a big challenge if there were 23 games left,” he said. “But we have to try to catch the people above us.”
Jones has no plans to change the backroom staff. Evans was his academy director at Wolves, and he knows Thompson and keeper coach Andy Rhodes.
He met the players for the first time at a 20-minute meeting yesterday: “The feeling I got at the training ground was one of real togetherness,” he said.