Dave Jones is banking on Roger Johnson to show what a “very good player” he is after being given a fresh start at Hillsborough.
The Wednesday manager is unconcerned that the on-loan defender was a controversial figure at Wolves and was ditched by new manager Kenny Jackett.
Jones prefers to focus on the sort of ability that made Johnson a stalwart at Cardiff and earned him big-money moves to Birmingham and Molineux:
“Somewhere along the line he’s lost his way a bit. What happened at Wolves doesn’t affect us. He’s here now. He wasn’t available the last time I went for him (last year after Owls had won promotion). We’ll be pleased to work with him.
“I’ve known him for a long time, He did fantastically for me. For whatever reason we’ve been given the opportunity to go and get him; we’re grateful for that.
“Roger knows the way I want to play and what I expect from my players. He’ll know he’ll have to fight for his place and produce the goods, like anybody else I’ve signed.
“We just want to get him up and running; he probably needs a good week’s training. We need to see what level he’s at. It might take a couple of weeks. But we’ve got a very, very good player to replace a good player that we lost (Anthony Gardner).
“I can only give any player the stage. Then it’s up to him. I would hope he just wants to get back on track, get back playing and show what a player he is.”
Jones is not yet looking beyond the initial three months: “The first thing is to get him fit, get him playing and we’ll go from there.”
The manager added: “He’s a very good good defender. He’s also likely to pop with the odd goal or two from set pays. He loves getting into the box. He’s one of those defenders who likes to head it, kick it, get a tackle in. He’s decent on the ball but he just enjoys defending and sometimes in today’s game they’re hard to find.” Jones has also praised Reda Johnson, who is taking over as captain while Gardner is out: “He’s been captain before, at Plymouth and he’s quite vocal on the pitch. I don’t think many people are going to argue with him!
“He’s one of the senior players. I put him down as one of the players here who has matured the most.
“I think he knows his responsibilities at this club, knows how important he is. Now giving him the armband strengthens that and gives him a responsibility to deliver on and off the field.”