Sheffield Wednesday: Owls go mental as losing run halted

Positive attitude: Dave Jones.

Positive attitude: Dave Jones.

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DAVE Jones is underlining the value of confidence as Wednesday face Hull at Hillsborough today after the boost of finally ending their losing run.

The Owls boss is sure that the home fans can play a part too in inspiring the players.

He certainly does not expect his team to show any inhibitions as they attempt to build on the point they picked up at Burnley.

“In any sport or walk of life, when all of a sudden you get a confidence boost, then for some reason everything seems to be ok,” he said. “You start trying different things.

“When you’re under pressure, you tend to take the safety route. In football the safety route dosn’t always work, because if you concede then all of a sudden you’re chasing the game, and falling into the trap of confidence being at a low..

“It’s not just about fitness and ability, it’s about your mental state, at this level.”

Jones compares football with athletics: “When someone is doing the high jump or long jump, he gets the crowd up with him, and their resoponse gives him a lift. If people are booing you, it takes confidence away from you.

“If a manager is getting battered from all quarters, he’s the first person that players see when they come in. If as a manager you’re down because you’re getting an ear-bashing, what are your players going to be like?

“Confidence is a major part of how well you’re going to do.”

Wednesday had lost six games on the trot before Tuesday’s battling 3-3 draw at Burnley

The Owls’ ex-Hull centre-half, Anthony Gardner, shares his boss’s view and admits that the Owls’ confidence suffered.

“We all care care about how we perform and about what direction the club is going in,” said Gardner. “We are here to make the club bigger and better. If things aren’t going well you can get upset and get down.

“But playing football is what we have been doing since we were kids; we are confident in our ability. This is our livelihood. We are big enough men to realise this is our livelihood.

“We are professional footballers for a reason. We must have some kind of talent if we are playing for a club of this stature, and it doesn’t just go overnight. What you do need to do is to work on your game in training and stay focused, and hopefully it will pay off on the pitch.

“You play well when you are confident. If you are not confident, you might make mistakes or not concentrate in certain areas.

“When the crowd is behind you and you have the support of the club, that’s when you play your best football. I think all fans want players to express themselves in the best way they can.”

* Anthony Gardner was Hull’s record buy when he joined them from Spurs for £2.5 million in 2008 and he had two years in the Premier League with the Tigers, playing 35 times.

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