DAVE Jones will reach his first anniversary as Sheffield Wednesday manager tomorrow feeling pride at his achievements so far in his career and determined to make the Owls even stronger.
Merely staying in the Championship will not be enough to satisfy the man who led the club to promotion though he says the survival task facing them over the final 13 games of this season is tougher than the challenge of a similar stage a year ago when it looked as if they would miss out on going up automatically.
“It’s been hard,” says Jones, reflecting on his first 12 months in charge. “It was difficult times when I arrived, because of the circumstances. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Financially, we’ve had to be diligent in making sure we get the right players.
“Slowly but surely we’ve seen a turnaround within the club - that means we are moving forward.
“If you can do it in one fell swoop, you’re a lucky person. Only graft and a bit of knowhow will get you to what you want to achieve.”
The former Stockport, Southampton, Wolves and Cardiff boss added. “I would think it’s been a successful year. It will be more successful once we know we are safe and can really push on.
“We want more than that. We want to build and make the club stronger. If you employ me, that’s what you get - a builder.
“I’ve left every club I’ve been at in a better situation than when I arrived. I’m proud of that. I want to do that here.”
The Owls overtook United to clinch second place last season: “Now it’s a lot harder because this is a harder division,” he says.