SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY manager Dave Jones insists he will not jeopardise the club’s financial stability by splashing out money the club cannot afford in the January transfer window.
Wednesday have not signed anyone yet this month, with Jones expecting any business to be done in the final week of January, and are working to a strict financial policy under chairman Milan Mandaric.
But Jones insists the Hillsborough club, who went close to administration before Mandaric’s rescue two years ago, will reap the benefits long term.
“If you look at the Championship, there are teams having a right go (financially); we can’t compete with that,” said the Wednesday manager.
“We have to look at different ways and cut our cloth accordingly.
“With the financial fair play rules coming in (for the start of the 2013-14 season), if you spend vast amounts of money you might be in all sorts of trouble.
“People forget it is a business. There are no deep pockets sometimes.
“There are a lot of clubs on the verge of administration; this club doesn’t want to go back to those days. It will go back to those days if we don’t do things properly.”
Wednesday are confident today’s Championship game with Wolverhampton Wanderers will go ahead at Hillsborough despite the snow and dropping temperatures.
The Owls trained on the Hillsborough pitch, which has undersoil heating, on Thursday before doing sessions indoors yesterday.
The game sees a swift return to South Yorkshire for Dean Saunders, after he quit Doncaster Rovers to take the manager’s job at Wolves.
Jones himself is a former Molineux manager and believes Saunders has landed one of the top jobs outside the Premier League.
“It’s a great club, it’s just as big a club as here tradition-wise and everything else,” he said.
“They have had a sniff and taste of Premier League football and they want more of it.
“It’s a super club. I had four good years there and I have nothing bad to say about Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“We have had them watched, we know they have got their danger players. As a football club, they are probably thinking ‘we shouldn’t be in the position we are in at the moment’.”
The Owls are one of the form teams in the Championship with a recent record of four wins, one draw and a solitary defeat, but they crashed out of the FA Cup on Tuesday to MK Dons and Jones, who made seven changes to the side, is demanding a quick response today.
“I was disappointed in our play on Tuesday,” said Jones. “We didn’t seem to have the penetration that I was looking for.”
One man delighted with his side’s FA Cup performance on Tuesday – and rather less so with their recent Championship form – is Leeds United manager Neil Warnock.
Leeds won 2-1 at Birmingham City to land a plum fourth-round tie against Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road on Sunday, January 27 – a result that contrasted starkly with an abject 2-0 league defeat at Barnsley last Saturday.
Leeds take on bottom club Bristol City at Elland Road today, with former Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O’Driscoll in charge of the visitors for the first time, following his recent sacking by Nottingham Forest and subsequent decision not to take up the reins at Barnsley.
Warnock pledged his play-off chasing team will take nothing for granted.
“We’ve shown in a lot of games that we can beat anybody,” he said, “but we’ve also shown that we can lose to anybody.
“The consistency at the top of the league means we are where we are and it’s why we’re looking for two or three players to move us up towards the other clubs; that’s what I’d like.”
Huddersfield Town, meanwhile, are in the middle of their worst run of league form since the relegation season of 2000-01, when they endured a horrorific sequence of 17 Division One matches without a win.
Town, who today visit Watford, have gone 12 matches since their last Championship victory – a 1-0 derby win at Barnsley on November 10.
Manager Simon Grayson admits one or two players have seen their confidence knocked but, while acknowledging his side are not playing particularly well, he feels his side’s character and application – exemplified by last weekend’s last-gasp home draw with Birmingham City – are not in doubt.
Grayson wants Adam Hammill’s stoppage-time equaliser to be the springboard for a change of fortunes.
“Confidence is something you cannot repair overnight,” said Grayson.
“It is a gradual process. We went to Charlton and got a good victory in the cup and got a draw against Birmingham, who have been playing quite well recently.
“We are progressing in the right manner. Obviously, everybody wants to win a (league) game to restore a little bit more confidence, especially at home. But we go to Watford in a good frame of mind, looking to cause an upset.”
In League One, Sheffield United’s game at Notts County passed a midday pitch inspection yesterday but will be the subject of a further review at 9.30am today.
Additional reporting by Chris Waters and Leon Wobschall.
Weekend football previews: Pages 2-5.