Sheffield Wednesday: Mattock presses for recall

Joe Mattock was injured in the first game of the season
Joe Mattock was injured in the first game of the season
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Joe Mattock is in contention for a comeback to the Wednesday side, Dave Jones has confirmed.

The left back has impressed the Owls manager since his recovery from a knee injury and could well play at Bolton on Saturday if Reda Johnson is ruled out by his groin problem.

It would be only the second start of the season for Mattock.

He forced his way into the side because of his pre-season form but suffered the misfortune of having to go off during the opening League game, at QPR.

Jones told The Star: “Joe has done really well, and he did well in the summer and in the first game. He also played well in our behind-closed-doors game against Manchester City last Friday.

“Hopefully he’s back to where he was, now; I’m sure he’ll be ready if the opportunity comes, and I would have no qualms about playing him.”

The Owls will assess captain Johnson over the next 48 hours but he is a doubt, after going off in the 57th minute of the 1-1 draw with Ipswich a week last Saturday.

There will almost certainly be a place in the squad for new loan keeper Damian Martinez.

He too has made an impression on Jones, who said: “In training he has been magnificent, making save after save.

“He is someone who was recommended by Terry Burton; he’s played a few games for Arsenal’s first team and they think highly of him.”

Burton is coach to Arsenal’s reserves and development squad after resigning as Jones’ assistant in the summer of last year.

Jones added: “We needed another goalkeeper as someone to compete with Chris Kirkland.

“We can’t rely on Cameron Dawson; he’s only 18 and not ready yet; and the other two (Adam Davies and Arron Jameson) aren’t doing the business.”

The manager believes that extra competition, from the 21-year-old Martinez, can only spur Kirkland.

Jones is philosophical about the absence of David Prutton for “four to five weeks” with an ankle injury suffered in training: the midfielder has not been in the team anyway for the last three games.

The Owls boss confirmed that it has yet to be decided what will happen to Matty Fryatt once his one-month loan ends. Jones is likely to want to keep him but much will depend on whether Hull want him back. “We’ll have to wait and find out what the situation is; that’s all we can do,” added Jones.

“One of the problems we’ve been facing is that you can’t expect to bring in players two months into the season and expect them to be fit straight away, when they haven’t been playing for their clubs.”

It would be unfortunate if the Owls had to lose Fryatt after five games and just when he had regained match sharpness. Meanwhile, Gary Madine’s future remains uncertain, with Wednesday having revealed that the jailed striker intends to appeal against his conviction on assault charges and that the club will be making no comment until the legal process has finished.