Sheffield Wednesday: One win can be key for Owls

The spotlight on Daves will intensify if the team cannot start winniing
The spotlight on Daves will intensify if the team cannot start winniing
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My mate has been asking the question again: “Well, how long has he got?”, writes Paul Thompson.

He will not be the only fan wondering what the future holds for Dave Jones if the Owls cannot start winning.

It is a good job that the man himself does not let speculation get to him, otherwise by now he might be nervy and distracted.

If the team cannot beat Reading at home on Saturday then I guess the spotlight on him will intensify.

I get the impression that Milan Mandaric wants results to improve through him keeping faith with his very experienced manager.

The question, one that seems unanswerable at the moment, is what happens if the team keep being unable to win and stay rooted in the relegation zone?

But just one win may prove a turning point and transform the outlook, rather like it did last year.

The Owls had lost seven league games in a row before they went to Barnsley in December: they won 1-0 - the first contribution to a haul of 43 points from the final 25 games of the season.

It would be easier to criticise Jones if the team were floundering every week.

But most of the games, if you judge each one over 90 minutes, have been very close and in some cases would have been different if officials had made correct decisions, as with the Barnsley handball.

I think fans have been patient so far, in the way they have backed the players and not turned against anyone at games.

Some fans questioned Jones’ judgement at Bolton when he took off Fryatt, but they didn’t know that the striker had been unwell; there was similar disapproval from some at Barnsley when Jermaine Johnson was withdrawn and Atdhe Nuhiu sent on.

I think JJ could have played better, and Nuhiu certainly made an impact. Couldn’t Jones have started with Nuhiu and Fryatt up front? Well, he did that against Ipswich at home and there was no spectacular success, and the team have played well in recent away games with one up (Fryatt) and one (Giles Coke, followed by JJ) behind him.

Making successful substitutions to affect a game is part of the art of management and it does not necessarily follow that the sub would have made the same impact if he had been on from the start.