SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Patient Jones tells beaten Owls to keep believing

Brighton v Sheffield Wednesday.....Owls Jay Bothroyd on his debut
Brighton v Sheffield Wednesday.....Owls Jay Bothroyd on his debut
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DAVE Jones feels that two successive defeats must not overshadow the progress that the Owls have made or dent his players’ self-belief.

He also insists that patience is needed as the club work at improving their game and bedding in new players.

Setbacks at Cystal Palace and Brighton have come after a 17-match unbeaten run under Jones.

Wednesday have also conceded 11 goals in five league games this season.

“We’ll keep working in training on doing the right things; we’re not that far away, that’s what we have to remember,” said Jones.

“We have to be careful we don’t wash away all the good things we have been doing, even this season.

“It’s a such a fine line. Sometimes you can lose your focus on what you’ve got and where you’re going,

“We have to make sure we don’t do that, and the players have to keep believing.

“Goals are normally scored. because people don’t do the right thing.

“When you look at the ones we’ve conceded, one or two people aren’t doing the right thing at the moment.

“Last season, probably we would have got away with it. But this is an unforgiving division. It’s not down to ability, it’s down to a little lack of knowledge and concentration in certain areas.”.

Wednesday could have gone top on Friday, ahead of Saturday’s games, as did Brighton by winning, but clubs are so closely bunched together that the Owls now find themselves down in 12th place.

Jones admits: “It was important because we wanted to go top. It shows how far we have come in a short space of time.

“We have good players, and good players coming in who we haven’t been able to work with for long spells.

“We also have one or two players who just need a little reality check; it’s not as easy as they found it was last season.

“They’re good players - but now it becomes a bit harder.

“That’s where the attitude and knowledge have got to change.”

Jones’ priority is cut out the defensive lapses that have cost goals.

He will also hope for swift returns to fitness for first-choice full-backs Lewis Buxton (hamstring) and Reda Johnson (ankle), who both missed the Brighton encounter.

Summer signing centre-half Anthony Gardner, who suffered a hamstring injury in the first league game of the season, is close to a comeback.

Jones also says: “We need to be more aggressive in the way we defend in certain areas.”

“Last season we did pinch and poke the ball because we had quick players. At this level, there are players who are as quick as you and probably more experienced players with better knowledge.

“It’s a learning curve for the players. As long as they keep listening and learning, we’ll get it right.”

Although the Owls lost 3-0 at Brighton, Jones still believes that he has seen nothing to fear in the Championship.

“I think there are teams who are much the same, who are just like us,” he said.

“At home, Brighton have played it very well. I could go and watch them next week and they’ll be terrible. I could watch them the week after that and they’ll be superb again.

“That’s this level. It’s such a hard division I haven’t seen anything that frightens us. Everybody is still bedding in.”