THE reply was quick, to the point, but not lacking in respect for Sheffield Wednesday’s rivals on Friday night.
Dave Jones, the Owls manager, won’t hold up Brighton & Hove Albion as role models for his team this year but instead praised the resilience of any club that maintains their Championship status.
“No,” Jones said when asked if Brighton provided a good template for Wednesday of a side that were promoted from League One, consolidated in the higher division, and then looked to push on towards challenging for the next level.
“Every club who comes up and stays in this league is a good example for us to follow,” he said. “Of course they have good players and had a good year last year.”
Most observers would say traditionally Wednesday are a big club with wider ambitions than Saturday’s opponents.
“They started well, then fell away a bit and then got it together again. They’ve strengthened for this season and they’ll be doing exactly the same as what we’re doing right now and that’s preparing for Friday.”
The Seagulls have won their last two league matches - a 5-1 thumping of Barnsley at the Amex Stadium and an impressive 3-1 victory at Burnley in their final game before the international break.
Their two wins and a goalless draw, achieved against Cardiff City in their first home match of the season, puts Gus
Poyet’s team on the same number of points as Wednesday but ahead of them in the Championship table by virtue of their goal difference.
Like Jones, Poyet bolstered his squad in the close season.
No wins from their final
eight games of last season convinced the former Chelsea and Uruguay midfielder that he needed an influx of quality to complete the transformation from League One champions in 2010/11 to Championship play-off contenders
And with ex-Manchester United keeper Tomasz Kuszczak, full-backs Wayne Bridge, from Manchester City, and Bruno from Valencia among eight new faces, their defence has become stronger.
Former Swansea striker Stephen Dobbie has added the class Jones is hoping for with his move for Jay Bothroyd.
In front of what could be the Amex’s first full house since expanding its capacity to 27,000 the Owls boss will find out how his team compares to one that trod the same path 12 months ago.