Sheffield Wednesday: Reda can help Helan

Jeremy Helan shows his disappointment over the 2-1 defeat by Burney
Jeremy Helan shows his disappointment over the 2-1 defeat by Burney
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Dave Jones believes that a return to the Owls side for left back Reda Johnson would benefit left winger Jeremy Helan.

The two are friends off the field and struck up an effective partnership on it last season.

Helan thinks they work well together and has said: “Because I have played left back as well, I could understand what Reda was trying to do.

“He helped me to settle down and get to know the players and how we play. On the pitch I tried to help him as well.

“We had a good understanding and get on well. When you’re close to a person, it is easier to play with someone like that.”

But Johnson has missed all the summer friendlies and the first three games of the season. Jones think that the full back’s greater experience can benefit the 21-year-old Helan:

“Jeremy is only 21. He did some things well in the Burnley game. Then when he didn’t quite get a pass right it preyed on his mind and affected his concentration a bit.”

“I you make a mistake don’t dwell on it. Nobody means to make a mistake. Just keep going and don’t let it affect your game - that’s what I’ve told the players.

“If Reda was playing behind Jeremy, we’d have a more experienced player at left back and he would help to keep Jeremy on his game.”

But Jones had to rely on 19-year-old Rafa Floro in the Burnley game because of a shortage of full backs.

He adds: “When you’ve got two young players on one side who are learning their trade, it’s hard. But they will benefit from the experience, and we will get stronger.”

Jones also wants wide men to play balls into the box with more freedom.

“Our youngsters have been trying too hard to be precise. We have to put it in with more confidence and be more willing to take a risk. They know the areas they should be aiming for - just put it into that area and let the ones in the box get on the end of it.”

While an attempt to sign a midfield player is among the other avenues being explored by Jones in a push to improve the team, former Owls midfielder Glenn Whelan has been praised as he headed towards his 50th Republic of Ireland cap in last night’s game against Wales.

Team-mate John O’Shea said: “Glenn has been doing his stuff for Stoke in the Premier League.

“His 50 caps has come around quickly and he is one of the unsung heroes, but the players appreciate him when we go into tough battles in European games.

“You know exactly what you get with Glenn. He is able to do more than mix it, he can produce brilliant moments of passing and shooting. He is a valuable member of the squad.”