DAVE JONES insists Sheffield Wednesday’s start to the Championship campaign is all a matter of perception.
Wednesday head to the Riverside Stadium this afternoon – a venue where they have lost on all six previous outings – in 20th place in the table and are yet to breach the wins column this term.
Ironically, their last competitive victory arrived against Boro in front of a 30,000-plus crowd on the final day of last season at Hillsborough by virtue of a routine 2-0 win and how Wednesdayites would welcome a victory of any description today.
But despite a frustrating start, points-wise at least, manager Jones believes the Owls are getting there and that with a fairer wind, they might have been looking at four league victories as opposed to just two points from a possible 12 thus far.
Jones, whose side were denied a maiden league victory in 2013-14 when Millwall’s Andy Keogh netted a late penalty in a 2-2 draw at Hillsborough last weekend, said: “I think everybody is frustrated within the club, while the fans will also be frustrated.
“But I think there is enough there to be seen in the games.
“We could have won all four games and were in positions to. But we have to cut out the errors.
“You never will cut out every one, what we must do is minimise them. The penalty we gave away last Saturday was a stupid one to give away (for instance).
“But somebody said to me the other day – and they are right in what they say and it’s how you want to perceive and look at it – we haven’t lost our last two games. But then you can say we haven’t won our last two games. It’s how you want to spin it.”
Jones, who welcomes back Jermaine Johnson from suspension today and is hopeful Lewis Buxton will be fit following a hamstring problem, added: “We are probably two or three players away from being competitive in this division and maybe pushing for the top half. But we are four games in and there’s still 42 games to go.
“I am sure the same thing will have been asked of Crystal Palace and Reading when they went up one year.
“There’s a good atmosphere around the place and everybody is working hard. We know we have to get better at certain things, but every manager will be saying this week-in, week-out.”
Boro’s televised victory over the Owls last November represented the high water-mark of their 2012-13 campaign, with over 28,000 taking advantage of a cut-price ticket offer to see the hosts triumph 3-1 and move to the top of the table.
That heady evening now seems a world away for the Boro faithful, who have seen the Teessiders’ fortunes nosedive in 2013 with just four wins having been accrued in 25 league games.
Regardless of that damning recent statistic, you have to go back to New Year’s Day 1991 for Wednesday’s last success on Teesside – a 2-0 win at Ayresome Park.