Dave Jones has told Mark Beevers he still has a future at Sheffield Wednesday.
The Sheffield-born defender was touted as a Premier League prospect when he first burst onto the scene in 2007 but his progress stalled and he eventually fell out of favour under previous manager Gary Megson.
He was shipped out on loan to League One promotion rivals MK Dons this season but since coming back he has impressed new Owls chief Jones.
Beevers is vying for a first league start of the season for the Owls in the centre of defence for tomorrow’s crucial game at Huddersfield, with Danny Batth and Miguel Llera also in contention to replace the suspended Rob Jones.
Dave Jones said: “I tried to sign Mark at Cardiff a couple of years ago so I know what he’s about, and he’s got his head down and he’s working hard.
“He played a reserve game and it’s just about getting back into the fold. He, like everybody else, will have to get their head down.”
On whether Beevers, 22 – who debuted for the Owls as a 17-year-old – has a future at the club, Jones said: “Of course he does, everybody that’s here has a future. He’s one of the local lads who came through the system, so everybody looks to those sorts of players as an example, because you want home-grown players in your team.
“He went out on loan and did well, and he spoke to me about maybe going out again because he didn’t see where he was going to play but that’s changed now and he’s happy and he’s working hard.
“But I can only give him the stage, I can’t programme him. The stage is there for him to produce what he produced before, the kind of performances that got him the headlines and got clubs interested in buying him.”
Jason Koumas has not yet begun training at the club in a bid to regain his fitness.