SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Mandaric backs Jones and calls for togetherness

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OWLS chairman Milan Mandaric today expressed support for Dave Jones and said that he is confident the club will climb out of the Championship bottom three.

Mandaric rates Jones as a “good manager” and says “he and his staff have a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to take us up the table.”

The chairman has spoken out as the Owls face Watford tomorrow bidding to end a run of four successive defeats that has seen them slip into the relegation zone and led to some fans questioning Jones’s future.

But Mandaric said in a statement: “Like everyone connected with Sheffield Wednesday, I am disappointed with the current position of the team in the Championship table. But the key word here is team, because that is what we are, from the top of the club to the bottom.

“I can assure you all that we are working tirelessly to put things right and it has never been more important to demonstrate that at times like this, the Sheffield Wednesday football family stays together. We celebrated together the joyous occasion of promotion on that incredible day last May, now we have to support and help each other when we find ourselves in times of difficulty.

“We have another very important game on Tuesday and I urge you to come down to Hillsborough and help the team towards the objective of three hugely important points.

“The Championship is one of the strongest divisions in the whole of Europe. It is also one of the best and it is vital that, first and foremost, we start collecting some points and ultimately stay in this division. I have every confidence that we will do that and I firmly believe we have a good manager in Dave Jones. He and his staff have a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to take us up the table.

“Of course, nobody enjoys what we are currently going through but we must have a constructive, positive attitude because that is the only way we will successfully negotiate these difficulties. Trust me, we will accomplish our aim of consolidation and continue to build for the future.

“The easiest way to do this, if there is an easy way, is to all stick together, which is why I ask our wonderful and loyal supporters to stay behind the club as one.

“I ask as I have always done to trust me as your chairman and understand that I will manage these difficulties with the best interests of Sheffield Wednesday at heart. We will get out of this trouble one way or another but believe me, it will be a lot easier and far less painful if we stay together with everybody working in the same direction.

“This is a building process and, like everyone else, I expected the Championship to be a very competitive division. We cannot let where we are in the table beat us. It is all about showing our character, and that means myself as chairman, the manager, the staff, the players and the supporters.

“We must keep moving forward and this is what we will do here, whether that takes one season, two seasons or three.

“Nobody expected us to be where we are now, least of all myself, because we invested and recruited a lot of players over the summer but sometimes it takes time for all the pieces of the puzzle to slot together.

“That is when we need patience, understanding and a leader to lead from the front. We are in a war, make no mistake about that, but what I have always learned is that when a comrade goes down, you put him over your shoulder and lead him back into battle.”