SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Owls allay JJ worries

Minor setback: Jermaine Johnson was taken off in the Owls friendly at Rovers.       Picture: Steve ellis
Minor setback: Jermaine Johnson was taken off in the Owls friendly at Rovers. Picture: Steve ellis
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OWLS manager Dave Jones has dispelled any fans’ fears about another major injury setback for Jermaine Johnson.

The winger had to go off in a friendly at Doncaster for the second time in succession. Two years ago he suffered a problem at the Keepmoat Stadium which was to keep him out for weeks.

Johnson also picked up a significant injury in the final friendly of last summer, against Stoke.

On Saturday he lasted only 26 minutes and had earlier taken a painful knock - leaving supporters to worry, with the new league season less than three weeks away.

But Jones has explained that it was just a tight hamstring that brought his withdrawal, as a precautionary measure.

“He just felt a bit a of tightness in his hamstring,” said Jones. “It was a precaution - it’s not good leaving people on if they’re feeling anything that’s a bit stiff.”

Johnson was replaced by Mike Jones on the left wing.

The Owls manager also made light of Gary Madine’s absence from the group of 21 who were on duty for the match, a 0-0 draw.

He said: “I left him out. We had a hard week in Portugal, and a lot of travelling.”

Chris Maguire and triallist Marlon Harewood played up front. Chris O’Grady took over from Harewood at half time.

Jones was pleased with some aspects of the team’s performance.

“We controlled part of the game really well,” he said. “Some things we need to brush up on. We need a bit more patience with the final ball: we tended to put it in the box when there was only one person there, instead of being patient and putting it in when we’ve got more people in there.

“It was a good work-out and a help towards improving our fitness levels. Maybe we suffered a bit of fatigue, after the week we’d had, and the mental sharpness wasn’t there in the final third.

“We did create openings but we snatched at them.”

Glasgow Rangers attacking midfielder Rhys McCabe, meanwhile, is believed to be on the brink of joining Wednesday, having turned down a new deal at Ibrox. Owls defender Rob Jones is also understood to have held talks with Doncaster Rovers over a possible move.