DAVE JONES has likened Sheffield Wednesday wingman Michail Antonio to a young Theo Walcott or Aaron Lennon – but admits he remains a work in progress.
The former Reading flyer had an eventful game in Tuesday night’s 2-0 Championship defeat to Blackpool, threatening the Pool defence on numerous occasions, but fluffing his lines on others.
The 22-year-old Londoner, who started his career at non-League Tooting and Mitcham United, blew one of Wednesday’s best opportunities on the night when he blazed over early in the second period, while showing a lack of composure after rounding Pool keeper Matt Gilks early on in failing to pick out an Owls colleague from a tight angle.
The Owls chief, who expects midfielder Paul Corry to be available for tomorrow night’s clash at Middlesbrough, said: “I thought Michail was superb on Tuesday with his running, power and pace.
“He reminds me of Walcott and Lennon when they first started, as he so much pace to burn and power. It is just that final decision with him. He will get better with that. But at the moment, he will be a little bit hit and miss because of his youth.
“But don’t forget that it is not so long ago that he has come out of non-League football. So we have to give him the time to learn. He will get better and is doing.
“The time will come when if he plays ten balls across, he will put seven or eight of them on the button. That is his learning process.
“But it is difficult to knock the kid because he will get better.”
Meanwhile, Jones admits he is at his wits’ end after suffering more perceived spot-kick injustice from a referee on Tuesday.
The Owls boss was adamant a penalty should have been awarded just before the break when Antonio went down after a challenge from Neal Eardley.
But Andy D’Urso remained unmoved following on from Saturday’s game with Peterborough United when four appeals for spot-kicks fell upon deaf ears.
Jones, who has been compiling clips of evidence he feels have gone against his side over the past few weeks and sending them to officials, said: “One day somebody will give us something as this seems to be happening too much now.
“They have asked me to compile a list and it’s another I will send off – but I do not know if it changes things. I am getting fed up now.The referee had to give that; I do not care what he said.
“He said to me that the player went down too easily. He’s six feet one and built like a brick wall, why was he ready to go down when he was going to pull the trigger?
“That was poor on his (D’Urso’s) part and probably one of the reasons why he was demoted down.”