Sheffield Wednesday's play-off experience could prove decisive, says David Jones

David Jones
David Jones
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David Jones believes Sheffield Wednesday’s experience of dealing with the Championship play-offs could be crucial in the promotion run-in.

The Owls face fifth-placed Reading tonight at Hillsborough in a crunch game for Carlos Carvalhal’s side.

A win would see Wednesday leapfrog the Royals, but defeat would leave them exposed to Fulham knocking them out of the play-offs come Saturday.

Jones, of course, is not stranger to winning promotion from the Championship, having achieved the feat four times in his career to date.

The latest came with Burnley last season, and the midfielder believes his team-mates - who lost in the play-off final last year - have the experience which could prove vital.

"You can't ignore the external factors completely but we have to concentrate on the things we can control which is working on the training field and preparing as best as we can for the games ahead,” said Jones.

"Personally, I draw on past experiences. Many of the squad have experienced this before which puts you in a good position.

"Everybody tomorrow night will be looking forward to the game and relishing the opportunity to move forward in the league.

"There is always a lot of pressure, especially at this club. It is what I have felt since I've been here.

“The fan-base is massive and what comes with that is a lot of expectation, especially from last season as the fans and the club want to move forward and see some progression.

“It is natural that expectations have raised. Pressure is something always involved in sport, especially at this level.”

Of the current four clubs occupying the play-offs - Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and Reading make up the quartet - only Wednesday have recent experience of the end-of-season lottery.

So where would promotion at Wednesday - a club Jones supported as a youngster - rank amongst his previous campaigns?

"All of them have been great individually,” said Jones. “They all had their own different challenges in the season.

"This has been a different challenge for me. I joined a new club and I feel like it has been a different role for me this year.

“The aim is to get another promotion this season but we are not getting too ahead of ourselves.

“There's a long way to go yet in terms of dreaming of that. First of all we have to take care of business on Friday and look to kick on from there.”