He got the dreaded vote of confidence from the chairman on Monday afternoon but Tuesday’s visit of Watford was always going to be a crucial one for manager Dave Jones and his Wednesday side.
The Owls boss has become increasingly under fire following Saturday’s 2-0 loss against Leicester City that plunged Wednesday into the Championship’s bottom three.
Watford will provide another tough test for his troops – the Hornets bagged six the last time they were in Yorkshire with a demolition job against Leeds. Gianfranco Zola’s men will be out to pile more misery on Wednesday.
Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric told the official SWFC website:
‘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.’
Wednesday Team News:
There are few positives around Hillsborough at the moment but the potential return of striker Chris O’Grady from injury is one ahead of the visit of the Hornets.
O’Grady, linked with a loan move to Barnsley only last week, missed Saturday’s visit of Leicester with a foot injury but is back in training and Owls boss Dave Jones said the former Rochdale forward could play a part on Tuesday night.
He could come in for Mamady Sidebe if fit and ready. Although brought in on loan to get more games, the Stoke City loanee has had a distinct lack of first team football over the last few years and three games in a week could prove too much.
Defender Miguel Llera will be back available for selection after the Spaniard served his one-match ban for collecting five bookings. Martin Taylor could be the man to make way should Jones opt to recalled Llera.
Chris Lines will also no doubt be putting his hand up for a first start of the season. The midfielder returned from a pre-season injury on Saturday as a substitute and will be edging nearer a start.
Player to watch: Dave Jones
Not a player this week, but all the pressure will be firmly on the man in the dugout – Owls boss Dave Jones.
Watford Team News:
Zola’s men are unbeaten in November and hit six goals on their last outing in Yorkshire at Leeds. They’ll be out to finish the season with another victory that could put them in the play-offs.
The Hornets do have some injury doubts ahead of the trip to S6, however, with loyal servant Lloyd Doyley struggling with a calf injury and Nyron Nosworthy also a doubt with a hamstring injury.
Almen Abdi is also expected to miss out with a dislocated shoulder while John Eustace also has a back problem.
Player to watch: Matej Vydra
Vydra is leading the Watford scoring charts with seven so far this season and he’ll be licking his lips about the prospect of playing against a leaking Wednesday defence.
Match Facts & Stats
Wednesday wins: 14
Watford wins: 18
Last Time Out:
Wednesday 2-1 Watford
Luke Varney scored a late winner for the Owls the last time the sides met. Eddie Nolan fired Wednesday ahead before Tom Cleverley levelled for the visitors and Varney bagged an 89th-minute winner.
v Cardiff City (A) – 1/12/12