Dave Jones insists that his Owls team are of capable of wiping away their losing form as suddenly as it began.
He also believes that Wednesday have a chance of ultimately emulating the sort of success he inspired at Wolves, tomorrow’s opponents.
“I wouldn’t be here otherwise,” says the man who took the Molineux outfit into the Premier League.
He rebuilt them and took them to promotion in his second full season at the club.
Jones made a spectacular start at Wednesday by leading them up from League One and putting together a 17-match unbeaten run and things have gone wrong only over the last month with five successive defeats
But he also points to Huddersfield as an example of how fine the line between success and failure can be in the Championship: “They were fifth from bottom three games ago but now they’re near the top.
Jones added: “Reading were bottom at this stage last year, and they got promotion. I’m not saying that’s going to happoen here, but what I am saying is that there are so many points up for grabs that it can change for the better just as much as it can change for the worse.
“The best teams have their turmoils, their losses; it’s how you bounce back from them. A win will boost everybody’s confidence.”
The Wednesday boss firnly believes that his squad are good enough if they cut out continual defensive errors and produce the form of which they are capable.
He says there no excuses, and prescribes hard work, togetherness, an acceptance
of responsibility by everyone, and self-belief among the players.
Jones says there are two solutions to the current dip. “Walk away from it and hope it gets better, or do something about it. I’ll certainly come out scrapping and fighting,” he says.
Kieran Lee is “struggling” becuase of the ankle gash that he suffered at Southampton. The wound is in a vulnerable position and needed three stitches. Reda Johnson may not be ready yet after his lay-off with a foot problem.
Jay Bothroyd trained yesterday and will be assessed today. He went off in the Bolton game last Saturday with a twisted knee.
Rhys McCabe’s thigh injury is the first
of his career so the Owls are not sure how long it will take him to recover.
If Lee is out then it could mean a start for Joe Mattock, who replaced him during the Southampton tie and was criticised by Jones for conceding a penalty.
“I don’t think we’ve played the same back four twice, because of injuries or
whatever,” said Jones, who believes that the current run must be seen in the context of his overall record at Hillsborough, where he has sought to rebuild the squad in the same way that he rebuilt Wolves into a promotion-winning side.
He feels that Premier League football was taken away from him at Southampton and Molineux through no fault of his.
“I had great times at Wolves,” he says. “It’s a fantastic club with great support and tradition. It’s no different here - a club trying to get back to the division where it thinks it belongs. They’re always special games when you go back to your old club. I want to do well. There’s no club where I haven’t got a good reception when I’ve gone back. But they’ll want to beat me as much as I want to beat them.
“I built a club that was struggling when I arrived. If you look at the faciities they have now and everything else, it’s not all down to me, but I’m part of it. I left a decent legacy and want to leave one here.”
Teams and ref
WOLVES (possible): Ikeme, Foley, Johnson, Berra, Ward, Boukari, Henry, Doumbia, Sako. Doyle, Ebanks-Blake (4-4-2).
OWLS (possible): Kirkland, Lee or Mattock, Taylor, Gardner, Jones, Antonio, Semedo, Barkley, J Johnson, Rodri, Bothroyd (4-4-2).
Simon Hooper (Wiltshire) Was in charge of Sheffield United’s 1-1 home draw with Bury on September 15. His last game was Cardiff’s 2-0 win at Millwall three days after that.