ROB Jones refuses to worry about how Wednesday will shackle Jordan Rhodes at the Galpharm Stadium tomorrow.
The skipper cannot help - he is starting a two-match ban.
But he has faith in the Owls’ ability to subdue Huddersfield’s 38-goal striker, who scored all the Terriers’ goal in the 4-4 draw at Hillsborough in December.
“He’s a good player; he proved that at our place,” said Jones. “But it’s about us. We’re on a great run. We’re unbeaten under the new gaffer.
“We go there full of confidence and have kept two clean sheets on the bounce.”
Danny Batth is favourite to take over from Jones, after being kept out of the side by Miguel Llera for last Saturday’s 2-0 win against Preston.
Jones added: “We have a good squad. I’m sure whoever plays will be fine.”
As the captain misses out for reaching 10 bookings, his only consolation is that his suspension will be served in the space of three days. He misses the visit of Oldham to Hillsborough on Monday.
“I’m disappointed I can’t play. I’ve played in the last 12; it’s the business end of the season and you don’t want to be missing games.
“It could have been worse; I could have been banned for two Saturdays. I just go back to being a supporter for two games over one weekend.”
A suspension for two successive Saturdays would have meant him being without a match for a fortnight if there were no midweek games.
Jones’s 10th booking, in the win against Preston, seemed harsh, for a tackle that did not look out of the ordinary.
“It was a foul but it was never a yellow card,” he says. “I spoke to the referee after the game and he more or less agreed with me. But the damage was done.”
If Jones had managed to get past tomorrow’s game without reaching 10 bookings then he would have been free of the threat of suspension.
Sunday is the point beyond which the 10 mark brings only a reprimand from the FA and not a ban.
So Batth - so long as he does not get sent off - is sure to escape as he is on eight.
Wednesday will be without Jones’s leadership and defensive qualities.
But Batth’s return would mean extra balance and add a bit of pace. He is right-footed and a natural for the right-side centre-back spot, which he has occupied for all but the last two games. He was injured for the one at Leyton Orient and on the bench last Saturday, with Llera having shone as his replacement the previous week.
Jones and Llera are both left-footed, but that has not looked a drawback in these last two games.
Dave Jones says that Mark Beevers, another left-footer, is also a contender for tomorrow’s big game.
Rhodes was a handful for Batth and Jones at Hillsborough, and it has been same for many other defences.
His hat-trick in Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Leyton Orient - now official though one of the goals was originally recorded as a own goal by JimmySsmith - has given the son of Owls goalkeeping coach Andy Rhodes a record
for the most league goals notched by a Huddersfield player in a season.
Match referee James Linington recorded the Terriers’ first goal at Brisbane Road as Rhodes’ - so he has hit 36 league goals for the season. He claimed the match ball straight after the final whistle.
His total for the club in all competition this season is 38, including five hat-tricks.
The 22-year-old also bagged a hat-trick among six goals for Scotland Under-21s this season.
Huddersfield manager Simon Grayson believes that this week’s treble is not the end of Rhodes’ scoring exploits: “He showed what he is all about and hopefully there are more goals to come from him this season.
“It was crucial we bounced back after the disappointment of losing at Carlisle on Saturday, and we did just that.
“As a match, it wasn’t a spectacle, and we certainly didn’t play as well as we can do, but the scoreline was a huge boost.
“Now all our focus is on a huge game against Sheffield Wednesday, and anything is still possible for any team in the promotion mix.”