SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Kirkland back but rival Bywater repaying Dave Jones

Issued reminder: Stephen Bywater showed against MK Dons that Dave Jones can always rely on him
Issued reminder: Stephen Bywater showed against MK Dons that Dave Jones can always rely on him
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CHRIS Kirkland is likely to return to the Wednesday side at Hull on Saturday.

But Stephen Bywater has issued a reminder that he can always be relied upon.

Bywater stated his case with his performance and clean sheet against MK Dons in the FA Cup.

It fulfilled the desire of last season’s No 1 to repay Jones for keeping him fully involved in the first-team squad.

Although Bywater has played only in cup-ties this season, he remains pleased to be at Hillsborough and he signed his new contract in the summer though he knew that Kirkland had arrived.

“If you go to work every day and you’re not involved with the first team and maybe training with the reserves, it’s different, but I’m involved,” says the ex-Derby player.

“Goalkeeping is different, anyway. It’s a specialised position. You have to be ready for every game, whether you’re playing or not. You need to do things right.

“I get on well with Kirky. We support each other. We both know we’re good enough to play. It’s up to the gaffer.

“I respect the manager’s decision, because I know him. He treats me well. I want to repay him if I play.”

Jones, though in the January market for outfield players, is pleased with the strength of the goalkeeping department and the competition between Bywater and Kirkland.

Jones said: “We’ve got good young keepers as well: Adam Davies, Arron Jameson; and we’ve got the England Under 18 keeper, Cameron Dawson.

Davies, who arrived on a short-term contract when the club were short of fit keepers, was on the bench last Saturday.

The experienced Nicky Weaver has been unable to get a look-in and has said that he may have to leave this month to further his career.

Kirkland was rested for the Cup-tie partly because he was a feeling a deadleg.

Jones also feels that Reda Johnson will have benefited from a break after playing for three successive game and being niggled by a sore foot, though he also sat out a one-match ban.

Johnson did not get the all-clear from a specialist until 5pm last Friday, and was an unused sub against MK Dons.

Said Jones: “We’d been a bit worried, in view of the bruising he had last time, and he was feeling the same pain he had before.

“He probably needed the break. I would have put him on against MK Dons if I needed him, but Joe Mattock did ok; he looked quite solid.”