Sheffield Wednesday: Jones looks to pick up sorry Owls

Manager Dave Jones was unhappy with his side's performance at Birmingham.
Manager Dave Jones was unhappy with his side's performance at Birmingham.
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Dave Jones is renowned for speaking his mind.

And after Saturday’s 4-1 thumping at Birmingham City, the straight-talking Liverpudlian gave a full, frank assessment of the Owls’ dismal performance.

Too many of Jones’ senior players under-performed and their inability to hold the ball up front cost them dearly. As he pointed out, their decision-making in all departments was “poor”.

It was a below-par display, leading to Jones issuing a public appology to the club’s fans afterwards.

The irony is that Jones actually felt their preparation had gone well prior to the trip to the Midlands.

“All week the tempo had been good in training,” he said. “I wish it had been absolutely rubbish. I wish it had been an absolute nightmare of a week.

“They (the players) had been strong. They had been working hard. They had been scoring goals for fun in training and then came here (Birmingham) as if we had left it somewhere else.

“That’s what frustrated me the most.”

Academy graduate Liam Palmer was taken off after half an hour of the Championship encounter for tactical reasons. Lanky forward Atdhe Nuhiu replaced the versatile midfielder after Wednesday had fallen two goals behind.

“I felt we needed to stop them getting in down the sides,” explained Jones.

“I didn’t think Liam was playing well. I put someone up there who was hopefully going to hold the ball up and give us something to play off. Before I got him on, they got the second.”

It is likely Jones will make several changes to his starting line-up when the Owls welcome Doncaster Rovers to Hillsborough on Saturday as they continue to search for their first win of the season.

Should Lewis Buxton regain full fitness, he will compete for the right-back spot with Jordan Spence, who can also be deployed at centre-half. Spence, on a one-month loan deal from West Ham, is set to return to Upton Park after the South Yorkshire tussle.

“I will speak to Sam (Allardyce) when Spence’s loan is up, speak to the chairman first and see what can be done, whether we keep him or send him back,” Jones recently said.

Jermaine Johnson will be hoping to make his first home start of the season after impressing as a second-half substitute at St Andrews. Nuhiu and Chris Maguire could also come into the reckoning as Wednesday aim to improve their record in front of goal.

New boys Roger Johnson and Stephen McPhail are expected to retain their places.