Owls boss ready for big challenges

Giles Coke: Faces a late check for tomorrow's game
Giles Coke: Faces a late check for tomorrow's game
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SHEFFIELD Wednesday manager Dave Jones is relishing the challenges that await his team in their next five games, writes PAUL THOMPSON.

Each will be against a side currently in the top eight - starting with tomorrow’s visit of fourth-placed Crystal Palace.

The Owls also face Cardiff, Leicester, Watford and Forest.

It could add up to the most searching test yet of the revival that so far has resulted in only one defeat in the last 11 league games and a run of six unbeaten.

But Jones said: “We’ll relish the opportunity to play against teams who are at the top, because that tells you how far away you are from it; that’s our challenge; if we want to be somewhere, these are the teams we have to beat to show how far we have come.

“But there are no easy games in this division.”

Jones awaits injury checks on Anthony Gardner, Reda Johnson and Giles Coke before settling on tomorrow’s line-up. Coke, an important part of the recent turnaround in results, went off with a niggle near the end of Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at Birmingham.

Jones added: “Some of the results show how unpredictable this division can be. Our mindset is that it’s a tough game every week.

“If we take our foot off the gas we’ll get well and truly beaten.

“If we play a top side and we think we’ll get beaten, that’s what’ll happen.

“We have a toughness, a hardness about us, and we want to do well. That’s the same whoever we play.

“Our aim is to keep the run going, try to get as many points as we can, and see where it leads us.

“Playing against the teams who have beaten us in the past, it’s a challenge to see how far we’ve come down that road and whether we’re on the right one.”