Sheffield Wednesday: Wickham out to repay Jones

Connor Wickham pictured during his stay with Wednesday last season
Connor Wickham pictured during his stay with Wednesday last season
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Connor Wickham is determined to repay the faith shown in him by Dave Jones for a second time around - and pick up where he left off last season.

Wednesday’s new loan striker from Sunderland scored in the final game of his first Hillsborough stay, the 1-0 win at Leicester in March.

He is glad to be with the Owls for two months this time rather than one and cites a rapport with Jones and the club as a major factor in his return.

The England Under 21 international is believed to have been a target for leaders Burnley and other Championship clubs.

But he told The Star: “I was more than happy to come back. I left on quite a good note. I know the lads really well; I know the manager and the fans, and they know me. I enjoyed it here last season. Hopefully it will be the same again.

“There’s a lot of time to get games in. I’ve settled in straight away. Hopefully I’ll contribute more this time.

“There are other players who have come in, as well as me. I think the team looks stronger and I think we can go forward.

“Just because I’ve come in, it doesn’t guarantee a place; I’ve got to work hard to repay the faith the manager has shown in me and hopefully get in the team and score a few goals.”

Wickham was not influenced by the club being bottom of the table: “I know the manager and the team and spoke to them before I came.

“They’re playing well, just not managing to hang on to the game. Hopefully, with the players we have brought in, we can get ahead and keep the lead. “I felt when I scored last season that we were just starting to pick up. Hopefully this time it doesn’t take me so many games to get that first goal.”

He said he did not know yet whether he will start today’s game against Reading. “If I am playing, I’m ready.”

Meanwhile, Milan Mandaric has made light of a revelation that according to papers filed at Companies House the club took out a £1.5 million loan from former West Ham chairman Terry Brown, an acquaintance of the Owls chairman and vice-chairman Paul Aldridge, who used to be the Hammers’ chief executive.

Club owner Mandaric, who has a business background in the USA, told The Star: “It was the sort of arrangement not unusual in business, and came after a cashflow from America was slower than had been projected to me. It was to cover a short-term situation and I will balance the books.”