DAVE Jones’s has praised Danny Pugh as a “big influence” on the Owls’ improved form.
The Wednesday manager feels that the on-loan Leeds man has made an impression on and off the field.
Pugh, who was bought by Leeds from Stoke for £500,000 just over a year ago, was signed on loan by the Owls last month after being out of the Elland Road first-team picture.
Jones said: “They (Leeds) paid half a million for him; for whatever reason, he didn’t get a look-in.
“He comes in ever day with a smile on his face. He wants to do well. He’s agreat leader. He’s always talking to the kids, which is fantastic. It’s what you want at your club.”
The Owls have had other loan successes, including Leroy Lita and Jeremy Helan, and Connor Wickham has made a reasonably good start, but Jones has picked out Jay Bothroyd as his biggest disappointment. He explained: “I expected him to lift everybody to the level he was playing at.
“What happened was he got sucked into the problems where we weren’t winning games. Then he started to say he wasn’t getting the service. You have to go through sometimes to find out if players will stand up and be counted.”
Bothroyd went back to QPR after being on loan for the first half of the season.
But David Prutton, who is out of contract this summer, returned to Hillsborough from a loan spell at Scunthorpe and has re-established himself in the team.
Jones said: “Pruts is fighting for his family, his livelihood, his wages. There’s still no guarantee we’ll sign him, so he’s got two chances: he fights to stay here, and he fights to get a better contract elsewhere. He’s been outstanding.”
Milan Mandaric, meanwhile, has revealed that the club will consider ground improvements this summer: “We’ll see what we can do; it won’t be major redevelopment.”