Sheffield Wednesday: Jones may give flops new chance

Seyi Olofinjana looks set to keep out suspension-free Jose Semedo
Seyi Olofinjana looks set to keep out suspension-free Jose Semedo
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Dave Jones is puzzling over the Owls’ flop at Derby and making plans for the Yorkshire derby against Huddersfield.

But in the end he may well decide on giving another chance to the line-up that crashed 3-0 at Pride Park.

Work on the training ground and in this week’s private friendly against Burnley has been aimed at keeping the club ticking over and ironing out failings.

Jones will have Jose Semedo available for the televised clash with Huddersfield a week on Saturday (12.15pm) after his three-match ban.

But while respecting the defensive qualities that made Semedo a success in a 4-5-1 formation in away games, the manager will have in mind how Reading were destroyed 5-2 by the same side that slipped up at Pride Park, with Stephen McPhail and Seyi Olofinjana the midfield two in a 4-4-2 in both games.

Olofinjana was signed after Semedo was banned for his sending-off at Bolton but the latter had not been starting in home matches.

Central defence is one area that Jones may reconsider, bearing in mind that he showed himself amenable to change in this department by replacing Kamil Zayatte with Miguel Llera for three games - the defeat against Doncaster and draws with Brighton and Ipswich.

Zayatte has been back in for draws at Bolton and Barnsley, and the Reading and Derby games.

Jones is also on record as saying that Joe Mattock is “on fire” and pushing Reda Johnson for the left back spot.

But it would be a big decision for the manager to leave out the captain.

The Owls’ private match against Hull at Middlewood yesterday was conducted with more of an eye on the longer-term future.

Wednesday’s line-up comprised youthful players of their own and young trialists.

They beat a young Hull side 3-2 with goals from Andelko Savic, Kalil Lambin and a trialist.

Huddersfield must replace one of their defenders when they meet the Owls - captain and centre half Peter Clarke is out for up to three months with a knee injury, and manager Mark Robins admits it is a blow.

But striker James Vaughan will be back from suspension and he has already scored 11 goals.

Deputy captain Keith Southern said of Vaughan: “He is a big personality both on and off the pitch, and we’ve obviously missed his goals and his energy and work-rate.”

“His scoring record speaks for itself, but James also helps us defensively, and we know we need to be sharper in both boxes.”

Town were beaten 3-1 at home by Birmingham. Southern added: “We know the fans are frustrated. We desperately want to give them something to shout about at Hillsborough.”