Countdown to kick-off: Championship set go in search of points

Sheffield Wednesday face a big game tonight against Watford.
Sheffield Wednesday face a big game tonight against Watford.
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YorKshire’s Championship sextet go in search of priceless league points tonight with Dave Jones in desperate need of a victory.

The Sheffield Wednesday manager was backed by club chairman Milan Mandaric last night ahead of the visit of in-form Watford.

But the Owls have slumped into the bottom three following a run of three straight defeats.

Mandaric said: “I have every confidence that we will do that and I firmly believe we have a good manager in Dave Jones.

“He and his staff have a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to take us up the table.

“I ask, as I have always done, to trust me as your chairman and understand that I will manage these difficulties with the best interests of Sheffield Wednesday at heart.

“We will get out of this trouble one way or another but believe me, it will be a lot easier and far less painful if we stay together with everybody working in the same direction.”

Leeds United welcome Championship promotion challengers Leicester City, with a renewed air of optimism following the announcement of the takeover by GFH Capital.

Neil Warnock reports that he had a ‘good meeting’ with new Leeds United director David Haigh and GFH Capital executive Salem Patel after Saturday’s win over Crystal Palace and while transfer plans for January were not specifically discussed, he expressed thanks for the way in which the new owners pushed through the Jerome Thomas deal, which looked unlikely at one point on Thursday morning.

He added: “It was a good meeting. There was nothing constructive about signings or anything, just a general talk. We did not have enough time; we only had about 45 minutes.

“I thanked them for their help with Thomas on Saturday because I know how important he will be for the next five or six weeks. They said they were going to support me and within five minutes, it was done. That is the test.”

The county derby between Middlesbrough and Huddersfield one of the highlights.

It is Town’s first visit to the Riverside in just over 15 years, with Grayson mindful of a Boro backlash after their shock 3-1 home loss to struggling Bristol City on Saturday.

Grayson, who has added Chris Atkinson to his squad after he returned from a loan spell at Chesterfield, said: ““They will want to bounce back from their disappointing display against Bristol City.

“We have to be hard to beat because as a team and as individuals, they are very good. It will be a difficult place to play football.

“But it will be a good atmosphere and, hopefully, we will be able to replicate a similar sort of performance to one we had at the weekend.”

Barnsley, like the Owls, are in relegation trouble as they welcome Burnley.

Hull City host Crystal Palace with both promotion-chasing sides fresh from defeat at the weekend.

In League One, the form team in Yorkshire, Doncaster Rovers, can go joint top of the division with a win at home to Oldham in their game in hand.

In League Two, Rotherham United look to turn around their inconsistency away at Accrington.