Sheffield Wednesday: Jones banks on teamwork

Owls boss Dave Jones
Owls boss Dave Jones
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Dave Jones is under the spotlight as he tries to save his job and lead the Owls from a precarious position.

But he hopes that tomorrow’s game at Blackpool will not be his last and insists that teamwork is the only answer to the club’s troubles.

Jones accepts that some people will believe that this weekend could be decisive for him:

“I can’t change what people think or what they do.

“What we are doing is sticking together, battling hard. We all have a responsibility to put it right.

“It’s not easy. I don’t like this feeling, I’ve not had it many times in my career.

“Sometimes you hit rock bottom; there’s only one way out - you coming out fighting.

“I want to see what fight my players have got.

“I have backed them and I will back them. Now it’s the time when they back everybody that’s here.”

He accepts that a demand for results goes with the job, and is only too well aware that 15 games have brought only one win, despite some encouraging performances.

“Every day I walk into the club, win lose or draw I’m fighting for my job,” said. “You can be top of the league and fighting for your job. That’s the way of life in football.

“We have to stay strong, keep believing, have a bit of patience now and again, because the players have shown in some games that they can do it. Once they cross that line, they have to perform. I’m part of that team because I pick that team. Then I’m relying on the players to do the job.”

Jones reports that there has been a lot of work, talking and soul-searching this week at Middlewood about why standards have fluctuated between some solid away shows and the home win against Reading, and the failures against Derby and Huddersfield.

“The players have to explain to me, the staff and the chairman why they perform, then then don’t. That’s the questions we are asking, as much as the fans are asking.

“We’re all in it together here. Everybody is fighting for their jobs, whether it be manager, coaches or players.

“It’s easy to change the manager, but there will still be the same players. They’re fighting for their next contract or for whether they get a new club to go to.

“I expect for them to go out and perform like they have done in some of the games and in training.”

Jones feels that some players have let themselves down, and that he, coaches and some players feel let down by those who have not delivered.

But he insists that the intentions of every player have been good: when someone has played badly it has not been for the want of trying.

“The one thing I do know is that they want to put it right, They day they don’t want to do that, you smell it. I don’t smell that. What I do smell is maybe a bit of fear is starting to creep in.

“But you have to have to be big and strong and have big hearts. #If you make a mistake, don’t make it again. That’s the mentality you have to have at all big clubs.”

Jones also admits: “I might have stuck with some players too long.“

He made four changes last week, and it could be Michail Antonio’s turn to miss out.

Jones has in the past been tempted to rest the winger. He was taken off at half time last week and is doubtful with a knee ligament injury suffered this week.

Jermaine Johnson, who replaced him and livened things up, looks likely to start this time.

With Jones have been reasonably pleased with Joe Mattock on his recall, an instant return at left back for Reda Johnson seems improbable.

That would give Mattock potentially the hardest task of the day - trying to sudbue Blackpool’s star winger Tom Ince. But he is an experienced defender

Damian Martinez looks set to continue in goal, having done nothing wrong last week when replacing Chris Kirkland.

Jones also faces a tactical issue: whether to stick with 4-4-2 or go back to the 4-5-1 formation that succeeded in some decent away performances.