DAVE Jones admits that his Sheffield Wednesday side are favourites for tonight’s Capital One Cup tie at Oldham - but he is demanding a flat-out effort from his players to justify that billing.
He believes there can never be any let-up for any club who want to be successful.
“We have to go and earn the result - that will be by us being at our best,” he says.
Jones is not disclosing his starting line-up but insists that, no matter what it is, he expects his players to be good enough to go through.
“Football isn’t like a running tap,” he said. “You can’t turn it off and on. You have to be at it all the time. Our training sessions are geared for that.
“There’s competition in training, in keeping the ball and everything else. There has to be an edge to it. The teams who are sucessful have that all the time.
“You don’t take your foot off the gas. When you do that, that’s when you end up with a lot of mud on your face.
“Whatever team I put out, it will be one that I honestly believe will win. That will be the same some for every game while I’m here.”
Wednesday beat Oldham 2-0 away in December when Gary Megson was manager and won 3-0 at home in April under Jones.
The Owls chief says: “We had a good result here against them last season but it was a tough game.
“We’re prepared for Oldham. We’re ready. We’ve probably been ready for the last week or so.
“The lads are really looking forward to it. I have a squad of players who should all be capable of playing in the first team.”
Jones has no qualms about kicking off the season in the Cup rather than in the League.
“It’s different this season but in any season, for the first month you play a lot of matches in a short space of time. We’re used to it. I am happy we’re playing on a Monday rather than on Wednesday.
“I saw Dicky [Oldham manager Paul Dickov] when we were in Scotland. He’ll have new players in. They’ll have had us watched; we’ve had them watched.”
Jones and his staff were out at games at the weekend to look at potential signings.
Last week they watched a player who was a possible loan target.
Jones also revealed that the club had lined up a deal with a player but could not get him until his club had brought someone else in.
“I’m reasonably happy with what we’ve got,” he said. “We’re still working hard on bringing three or more in,” he added.
“We’re scouring the market. Just because we’ve signed, say, Michail Antonio, you don’t stop looking. That’s why the scouting system is up and running.
“If Antonio got injured, heaven forbid, you have to be on the ball; you have to have someone lined up or have in mind people who might come to the club.”
Another summer signing, full back Kieran Lee, is challenging for a debut against the club where he was Player of the Year for the last two seasons.
There is a long way to go in the Capital One Cup but the trophy and TV pundit Chris Kamara paid a promotional visit to Sheffield.