Sheffield Wednesday: Owls urged to cut out ‘sloppiness’

David Jones
David Jones
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There is no disputing the character, spirit and determination in Wednesday’s squad to succeed in the Championship.

And their rousing finish against Sunderland should give them plenty of confidence, belief and hope for the future ahead of three tough-looking away assignments.

David Jones in possession

David Jones in possession

Carlos Carvalhal’s charges battled back from a goal down for the second successive home match to secure a point and the team fully merited their ovation at full-time.

Nonetheless, two points from their opening three Championship fixtures is a disappointing return.

If the Owls are to quickly turnaround their fortunes, David Jones has acknowledged the team must rectify their slack periods of play.

The midfielder said: “In terms of points on the board, we would want more from the start of the season. But we know what we are capable of and need to turn these performances into three points.

David Jones

David Jones

“We didn’t have a strong first game at all. But then we have done enough in the last two games to get victories, in my opinion.

“It didn’t quite come but there are a lot of games in this league and we have to keep going, not lose confidence.

“We need to cut out some of the sloppiness that sometimes can be there at the start of a season.

“There are two league games and a cup game before the international break; we want to get some momentum and keep improving on our results. Just keep building our performances, get stronger and stronger.”

It has been a frustrating start to the campaign and Wednesday have not helped themselves by going behind in all of their matches.

Jones, utilised at the base of a midfield diamond formation, said: “You have to start well or it is an uphill task against any team in this division, never mind one that has come down from the Premier league. Especially a team like Fulham, you don’t want to be behind early on.

“But if that happens it is up to you show the character to come back and get a point.”

Jones opened his Owls goalscoring account in fine style, rifling an unstoppable 25-yard strike past Sunderland goalkeeper Jason Steele to set up a thrilling finale. It was the 32-year-old’s first goal in nearly two years and cancelled out George Honeyman’s fourth minute effort.

Jones said: “It was nice to get off the mark and nice to get the point.

“I felt we had a strong second half and deserved to get a goal.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the winner but they are a pretty strong side.

“It was a disappointing start and that can knock you a bit but we managed, after 10 to 15 minutes, to regain our composure and put in a strong performance in terms of we were the ones pushing for the win at the end.

“We can take lot of positives from the game, especially as it can be difficult to concede a sloppy goal against an experienced team early on.

“At half-time, there was definitely no panic. There was a bit of frustration but we wanted to get out there and put things right.”

Next up for Wednesday is a trip to Fulham. The Cottagers, looking to kick on after reaching the play-off semi-finals last year, have recorded three draws.

“We go again in another big game on Saturday,” said Jones. “Fulham will be tough, we are aware of that.

“We played them last season and Fulham were a decent side but we are more than capable of going there and getting all three points.”

Fulham, who have ex-Owls head coach Stuart Gray as part of their coaching staff, are expected to hand a start to new signing Sheyi Ojo. The 20-year-old, who can play anywhere across the front line, has arrived on a season long-loan from Premier League club Liverpool.

Ojo has previously played second-tier football during loan spells at Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Fulham vice-chairman Tony Khan said: “I’m delighted to welcome Sheyi to Fulham. He possesses fantastic physical talents and also carries himself with poise and class, and I know that he’s going to be a great addition to our squad.”