Sheffield Wednesday: Owls striker Sidibe is new man

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OWLS striker Mamady Sidibe today looks set to launch an attempt to earn himself a happy new year.

Manager Dave Jones believes that the on-loan centre forward from Stoke is beginning to look his old self after two and a half years on the sidelines with injuries.

It was a desire to avoid the risk of him suffering further niggles during a busy spell that led to Sidibe being moved down to the bench at Huddersfield after his match-winning goal at Bolton. But Jones was impressed with his performance as a sub at the Galpharm Stadium, where he went close to getting two late goals, and seems likely to bring him in against Burnley today, which could be the start of a run in the League side as the hectic festive period passes.

Said the Owls manager: “Mama had just come back from a hamstring; we just had to be wary.

“He looks fitter, stronger, more confident. He’s done great - he had the stuffing knocked out of him for two and a half years.

“When you haven’t played for a while, you lose that battle hardness. Now he’s seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.”

Sidibe’s re-emergence coincides with the return of Jay Bothroyd to QPR, who want him to aid their fight against relegation.

Today’s game is the last of his loan spell and it seems unlikely that he will return to the side. Joe Mattock could come in at left back for the suspended Reda Johnson.

Wednesday have appealed against the booking of Michail Antonio at Huddersfield, on the grounds of mistaken identity. The FA tomorrow look set to reach their own verdict of mistaken identity, transfer the card to Jeremy Helan and ban him for one game.