Sheffield Wednesday: Owls boss threatens to wield axe

Owls boss Dave Jones at Derby
Owls boss Dave Jones at Derby
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Owls manager Dave Jones has warned his under-achieving Sheffield Wednesday squad that no-one is safe from the axe as he aims to cure their defensive deficiencies, writes Dom Howson.

Wednesday slipped back into the bottom three of the Championship after Saturday’s 3-0 thumping at Derby County.

The Hillsborough club have yet to keep a clean sheet in 15 outings in all competitions this season and are the only team yet to record a shut-out in the top four tiers of English football.

Jones said the players “let everybody down” in the wake of the team’s lack-lustre showing at Pride Park. He hinted that “one or two” first-team regulars could be given run-outs in their behind-closed-doors clash with Hull City on Thursday.

“There maybe one or two who played at Derby who might have a run-out on Thursday,” he admitted. “If they (players) can’t do it here, then go and do it somewhere else. I thought they let everybody down and, more importantly, they let themselves down against Derby. Maybe one or two forgot what got them the result versus Reading.”

As well as Roger Johnson has played in recent weeks, Wednesday are missing club captain Anthony Gardner at the back. Due to injury, Gardner is unlikely to return to action until the second half of the season.

A lack of continuity in selection has not helped their backline. Lewis Buxton and stand-in skipper Reda Johnson have missed chunks of the season while Kamil Zayatte and Miguel Llera have struggled for consistency.

League One leaders Leyton Orient, meanwhile, have signed free agent Robbie Simpson on a two-month contract. The 28-year-old, who started the Owls Under-21s’ draw with Crewe Alexandra last week, has been without a club since leaving Oldham at the end of last season.