Newcomers add steel to Sheffield Wednesday spine

Already proven: Rob Jones was a hit while on loan this season
Already proven: Rob Jones was a hit while on loan this season
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THERE IS an old saying in football that a team need a strong spine to be successful.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Gary Megson seems to be paying heed to it.

He has made centre half Rob Jones and central midfield player David Prutton his first signings of the summer.

Fans await the probable arrival of a centre forward.

But the Owls are delighted with the business that they have completed so far.

Fans too will welcome the return of Jones and the attempt to strengthen midfield - an area against which there were often question marks this season.

Someone who can consistently be a commanding figure and dictate games would be an asset, and clearly the club are banking on Prutton in this respect.

The 29-year-old is perhaps best remembered as an outstanding young player at Forest who joined Southampton for big money (£2.5m) and played many games for Saints then Leeds, before dropping down to Colchester and Swindon.

But he showed at Hillsborough last month that he still has plenty to offer. He is a different type of player to Tommy Miller and does not have the former skipper’s reputation for scoring goals; Megson, however, will see him as an aid to retaining and using possession.

Prutton’s arrival may be followed by other midfield comings and goings: depending partly on whether James O’Connor accepts the offer of a new deal, and on whether Darren Potter is seen as being part of the manager’s plans.

The up-and-coming Liam Palmer will hope to step up his claim for a place.

Fans will be eager to see how Prutton fares - but already know what to expect from Jones. The defender was a hit during his eight games while on loan from Scunthorpe.

No centre half who is 6ft 7ins can be expected to be the quickest on the turn but his heading, tackling, leadership and positional sense were just what Megson wanted.

His aerial ability can be put to good use at attacking set pieces as well as at the back.Jones enjoyed his partnership with fellow loan centre half Danny Batth.

If the Wolves youngster is another who returns to Hillsborough, then the competition will be intense for Reda Johnson and Mark Beevers, while Michael Morrison already seems to be out in the cold.