Sheffield Wednesday: Tough build-up suits Jones

Giles Coke battles in the hard game at Chesterfield
Giles Coke battles in the hard game at Chesterfield
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Wednesday lost only once amid a mixed bag of pre-season results - but David Jones is paying no attention to that as he prepares for the new season.

He has known many summer ups and down in his career and learned that friendlies are no accurate guide to how a team will fare when the real action starts.

He is just glad that the warm=up matches fulfilled the purpose of giving his players some action and sharpening their fitness:

“I’ve known pre-seasons where we have been awful, but have then started well in the league games; sometimes it’s been the other way around; sometimes we’ve done well in both periods.”

The Owls drew 1-1 in a private game against Romanian champions Steaua Bucharest at Burton, lost 3-1 to Braga and drew 0-0 with Hull in Portugal, won 3-0 at Stockport and 1-0 against Scunthorpe and Rangers, and drew 1-1 at Chesterfield.”

Jones added: “We’re pleased that the opposition we played gave us what we wanted: they were all hard games; not one was easy for us.”

His one regret has centred on injuries - chiefly those that have kept Reda Johnson out of the whole of the pre-season match programme, and Lewis Buxton and Jacques Maghoma out for almost the whole of it.

“The injuries have been the only down,” he admits. “In general the other parts of pre-season have gone really well.

“The players have looked fit and sharp, and we’ll be ready for the game at QPR Saturday.”

Wednesday are also sending a side to play the annual friendly at Stocksbridge, tomorrow, kick-off 7.45.

The Under 21s came from behind to draw 1-1 at Buxton on Tuesday and please coach Lee Bullen.

“This was a very good performance in a really tough game - we lost 4-1 there last year,” he told The Star.

“Our back four consisted of a 16-year-old, two 17-year-olds and a 19-year-old.

“We were 1-0 down at half time, though we controlled the game, and in the second half their keeper Andy Warrington, who used to play for Rotherham, made four or five fantastic saves.

“Andy Hinchliffe scored an equaliser we deserved. I was really pleased with our team.”

The club’s new home kit will on sale from 9am today in the club shop and will be available on line.

Fans can sit in the North Stand from 11.45 to watch the players train in the strip.