A COMBINATION of favourable results might virtually clinch Sheffield Wednesday’s safety shortly before 5pm today, but manager Dave Jones is concentrating solely on what he can control.
If the Owls beat visiting Ipswich Town and relegation rivals Barnsley, Huddersfield Town, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Peterborough United drop points, Championship football will be close to being assured after an intense fight against the drop for around two-thirds of the campaign.
Given the unpredictable nature of a division where twists and turns have arrived by the week, Jones is not looking at permutations, just picking up points and managing his club’s side of things.
Given their solid form this calendar year, where they have been beaten just four times in 17 league matches since New Year’s Day and found some impressive resolve after a mistake-ridden first-half of the campaign when they were their own worst enemies at times, it would be a surprise to many if Wednesday undid their good work and were relegated.
But Jones, whose 18th-placed side are just three points above third-from-bottom Huddersfield, is not complacent. While pleased with the Owls’ acclimatisation to Championship football, he is solely concentrating on what could be three key battles ahead.
Jones said: “Someone said to me, you might already have enough (points). But we have just got to get as many points on the board as we possibly can.
“We were disappointed that we did not pick up points at Leeds and I think that showed in the battling qualities we had at Blackpool.
“The pitch was not going to get us down, and while they are a very, good side with good players there was not much between the teams on Tuesday. They were one of the teams who made it very difficult and were far ahead of us when we played them at home so that shows how far we have come.
“The biggest thing we needed to do from earlier in the season was turn performances into results and slowly but surely that has started to happen.
“There were games we should not have lost and seemed to have every bit of bad luck going but, since the turn of the year, we have got stronger and stronger and that must continue. It can’t just stop now.”