SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Dave Jones decides on loyal Paul as new No 2

New Owls Coach Paul Wilkinson
New Owls Coach Paul Wilkinson
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PAUL Wilkinson’s patience has paid off.

With Terry Burton rejoining Arsenal last week to become their new reserve team and head development coach, Wilkinson is set to fill the assistant manager gap at Sheffield Wednesday.

The former Barnsley, Middlesbrough and Grimsby Town striker has spent the last seven years working alongside manager Dave Jones, expanding his coaching knowledge.

When the pair worked together at Cardiff City, Wilkinson was reserve team coach.

Wilkinson already provides coaching and recruitment back-up and Jones views him as a key member of his backroom staff. The Owls chief is still revamping his squad ahead of their Championship challenge and says Wilkinson has a “very good eye for a player”.

Wilkinson will be ably supported by first-team coach Neil Thompson who joined Wednesday in february 2011.

Jones told The Star: “I worked with Terry for a long time but I have also worked with Wilko for seven years.

“Wilko is just as good a coach and he has earned this opportunity. He and Neil will fulfil Terry’s role.”

Burton, now aged 59, began his career with the Gunners and went on to coach the North London club in 1979.

Jones said: “Terry is not the first coach who has moved on from me and I’m sure he won’t be the last.

“I was sorry to see him leave but Arsenal are a fantastic club and it was an opportunity he just could not turn down.

“We wish him the very best. In the short time he was here, he did what was asked of him.

“We move on and the two guys who are here will step up to the plate.

“If you have a coach or coaches with you and they are with you a long time and they wait for an opportunity, then you can’t kick them in the teeth by not giving them a chance to show what they can do.

“In Wilko’s case, he has waited seven years for this and he is just as good a coach as Terry.”

Jones says he has no intention of adding to his coaching staff in the near future.

“We are happy with the way things are at the moment,” he insisted.