Sheffield Wednesday: Jones targets old club

Dave Jones and Nigel Pearson on the touchline at Leicester
Dave Jones and Nigel Pearson on the touchline at Leicester
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PAUL Wilkinson talked last week about the Championship’s top teams feeling the pressure.

Leicester duly looked below their early-season best when Wednesday beat them, but the improvement in the Owls must be taken into account.

Now comes a clash with another promotion-chasing outfit, Cardiff, who are said to have been faltering lately in their performances and not only their results.

Dave Jones and his players will fancy their chances.

Although the game at Cardiff in December was the penultimate one in a sequence of seven defeats, the Owls were only 10 minutes away from earning a point, when Craig Conway struck the winner.

For Wednesday, that contest was probably more about nullifying the high-flying Bluebirnds than taking the game to them, and a battling performance deserved some reward.

It could be a different sort of game at Hillsborough tomorrow.

During the last month, Wednesday have earned a good point at Birmingham, won well against Crystal Palace, suffered injustice at Watford, and picked up a terrific result at Leicester.

The blot on the recent record was the first half of the last home game, against Forest, when they were second best.

But there has been enough substance in the Owls not only in recent weeks but during the last three months to suggest that they are capable of prolonging Cardiff’s sticky spell.

I say sticky spell as Malky Mackay’s team have taken only five points from their last five games, but on the whole they are not doing so badly, four points clear at the top and with a game in hand.

Jone must yearn, deep down, to beat his former club. He had a dig at them the last time the clubs met, saying he had an old problem with the club’s owners and had not been treated with respect.

The remark - on which he declined to elaborate - was believed to relate to a dispute over his pay-off when he was axed by the Bluebirds.

Jones also said he bore no bitterness towards anybody. But maybe it will not be all sweetness and light behind the scenes when the clubs meet again tomorrow.

Jones and Nigel Pearson do seem to get on well, as most managers do with one another.

The ex-Wednesday captain volunteered the comment in November, when his Leicester team had won at Hillsborough, that the Owls had a good manager who would turn around their fortunes.

Pictures when they met on the touchline at Leicester seemed to show mutual respect.

But if there is ever a reunion between Jay Bothroyd and Wednesday then I expect he will get some flak from fans after his latest remarks about the club.

You could interpret what he said in different ways, but it was not exactly complimentary, particularly this: “They’re a League One club that got promoted and their fans need to understand that.”

As QPR are bottom and he has a year left on his contract, he could in the same division as the Owls next season.