Stick with Dave but give fans a reason to believe

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DISCONTENT is growing.

The chatter is constant and getting louder like the click of the tricoteuse knitting as the guillotine chopped off aristocratic heads during the French Revolution’s reign of terror.

No-one is knitting on the kop as far as we know but the desire for yet another head to roll at Hillsborough is increasing.

Sober and battle-hardened Wednesdayites reckon the split among fans is now 50/50 as to whether Dave Jones should go or stay.

Owlsa fans pride themselves on not prematurely calling for the manager’s head at Hillsborough - “We’re not like Unitedites with their shoes off in the car park after a few bad results”, they say.

Though the fact they have been pouring unbridled scorn on successive boards for a decade or more does somewhat diminish that particular argument.

But we digress.

Wednesdayites are in turmoil again as the club drifts back towards the bottom of the Championship and the old question is asked once more: “Stick or twist?”

Nine managers in 12 years tells its own story.

It’s not easy to come up with a case for a boss whose team has lost its last six games and been beaten in 14 of its last 18 outings.

Those are difficult numbers for any fan to swallow.

But what did people expect?

When fans said, with no irony, at the beginning of the season that they would be happy to see the Owls finish in 21st position in their first season back in the Championship, how did they expect that to play out through the season?

Apart from the barmy few - and there were more of them than there should have been - who thought Wednesday would sail to the Premiership on a blue and white wave of optimism, most agreed to settle for survival. At some point in the season, survival was bound to feel like this.

Scary, unpredictable, unsettling. Anxious fans, nervous players and a manager trying everything he knows to put it right.

No-one wants to read the Green Un or watch the Football League show and that old Wednesday swagger has disappeared, at least for now.

Owls owner Milan Mandaric is a man who knows what he wants and has proved that he knows how to get it, most of the time.

He should know the state of the club from the inside.

He will have people telling him how the academy is shaping, what morale is like in the reserves, he needs to know what stories the staff are telling at the training ground and whether players are fighting for their lives or looking for a way out.

He will be looking at attitudes from the tea lady to the CEO to see the real state of the club.

If some or all of those things and a hundred others aren’t as they should be then Dave Jones is in deep trouble.

But if the overall momentum of the club is right, if players, coaches and support staff are in roughly the same mind Mandaric should ignore the imaginary noise of the guillotine knitters and stick with his man.

There are few candidates out there with CVs like Dave Jones, few with his proven ability and even fewer who could make a difference at this stage in the season. It’s Bristol City at Hillsborough on Saturday in a massive game for Jones.

Mandaric has to have something to believe in. Wednesday need a win. Without that, no matter what Dave Jones has achieved behind the scenes, the momentum for change could still engulf him.