SHEFFIELD Wednesday manager Dave Jones has advised Barnsley to concentrate on themselves ahead of tomorrow’s South Yorkshire derby at Hillsborough.
With both clubs in excellent recent form Jones has been irked by suggestions from the Reds that he was wrong to loan them striker Chris O’Grady.
Midfielder Bobby Hassell expressed surprise in The Star that the former Rochdale and Rotherham player has joined him at Oakwell and Reds boss David Flitcroft has also claimed he thought Wednesday had written off his team’s hopes of staying the Championship as the reason why O’Grady was allowed to leave.
However, Jones responded at his press conference yesterday to warn the Reds that they should be more bothered about what happens at their own club.
He said: “There’s been a lot said but if you let players out it helps you bring in two or three others in and I think people sometimes forget that.
“I don’t know the guy (Hassell) but he’s had his little spout but he doesn’t know what goes on inside this football club.
“It’s best that you concentrate on your own thing and not us.
“I know Flitty (Flitcroft). He’s gone in and done a good job; he’s got them up and running, which is important. He’s trying to do a job like I am.”
Since Keith Hill was sacked on December 29 the Reds have taken 23 points from 12 Championship matches and reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
And while Jones has admired their run as much as he has his own team’s, he wonders why it has occurred.
“You’d question the players,” he said. “Why didn’t they do it for the previous guy? That’s the question I’d be asking. But that’s not my problem.
“They’ve been on a run just as good as we have. It’s all the ingredients of a good game.”
Wednesday have a crucial 72 hours with not only Barnsley but an away trip to fellow relegation candidates Bristol City on Monday.
It will be a busy Easter for the Owls, as it will for all the other Championship clubs.
Jones said: “The Easter period is always like that. There’s everything to play for everyone in the division.
“We play two games in three days which is a lot to play particularly after what’s gone before that. And that’s why you need your squad up at full running.
“It won’t decide what goes on but it will help it.
“You don’t want to be at this end of the table but this is why you’re in the game - to have something to play for.
“It’s a derby game and there’s a lot been said by people who don’t know what goes on sometimes, but football is a game of opinions.
“Of course we’ll be nervous and we’ll have a massive following - we get that at home every time. We need to give them something to cheer about.”
Wednesday were celebrating the last time the teams met at Oakwell in December.
Jones expects a similar type of match: “It was a battle. It wasn’t the prettiest of games there was blood and guts and all sorts, but that’s what you’d expect in a derby.
“We were the team that got the break but it could have gone either way. Both teams are in good form, both teams are fighting to stay in the division and both have good players.”
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