SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Jay will beat the boos

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ASSISTANT manager Paul Wilkinson is adamant Sheffield Wednesday striker Jay Bothroyd is “strong enough” to handle the criticism from the terraces.

The lanky forward, on loan from Queens Park Rangers until January, was booed off by home supporters when he was taken off in the Owls’ defeat to Bolton Wanderers.

Bothroyd, who has previously worked with boss Dave Jones at Cardiff City, was then heavily criticised by Wednesday’s fans on Twitter for his performance.

The former Arsenal trainee, who hobbled off with a knee problem, hit back by describing a minority of his detractors as “thick”. The post was later removed.

Wilkinson filled in for Jones at yesterday’s pre-match press conference for tonight’s Capital One Cup third-round clash at Southampton as the Owls boss was away on ‘football business’.

The Star understands Bothroyd may be fined for his outburst and the club are weighing up their options over the matter.

One-time England international Bothroyd has yet to open his account for Owls. He has started the last three matches but may be left out this evening.

“I don’t know what Jay has said,” said Wilkinson. “Dave will sort that out.

“It is difficult. Jay has not had a pre-season at QPR and he has come in and there is an expectancy when you come from the Premier League from people to see you light the world.

“But it is going to take time for him.

“He is big enough and strong enough to deal with the fact that some people may have got on his back.

“We have been in football long enough to know some players will get booed.

“The important thing is to respond in the right way. I think all fans in any team when you are on a run like we are on are going to vent their frustrations somewhere along the line to people and the team.

“It is difficult but we are determined to turn it around as quickly as possible.”