DAVE Jones, the Sheffield Wednesday manager, has stressed there has been no fall-out with Gary Madine and ruled out the possibility of the striker leaving Hillsborough.
Swindon Town, Coventry City and Doncaster Rovers have all expressed their interest in capturing Madine, who has struggled to hold down a regular first-team place since the Owls gained promotion to the Championship, on loan in recent weeks. He has started just 13 times, hitting three goals and is unlikely to start at Birmingham City tonight.
Having fallen behind new recruits Leroy Lita and Connor Wickham in the pecking order, Madine spoke in depth about his situation with Jones yesterday.
“Gary felt it might be the right thing for him to go out for a month,” admitted Jones. “We thought long and hard about it but he is still here and he is a vital part of the team. He is not playing week in, week out but people have this perception that I have fallen out with him or don’t like him. They are so far off the mark it is untrue. I can only pick 11.
“There is a good camp here; I get on with every player.”
Jones feels Madine is better off improving his all round game with Wednesday.
“People forget he is still a young player and somebody who has not played at this level before,” he stated.
Jones is a big admirer of Ross Barkley. The midfielder, a big hit with the Owls earlier this term, has recently returned to Everton following a loan spell at Leeds United.
Jones said: “At the moment, we have four midfield players; it is not a priority. If you ask me ‘would I like Ross back here’ then yes because I think he is a super player.”