silence will be golden on wilcox return

RUSS WILCOX spent three ‘fantastic’ years at Sheffield Wednesday but wants to silence the Hillsborough crowd this afternoon.

Wilcox served as deputy to Brian Laws when the Owls finished ninth in the Championship five years ago.

He returns today as assistant manager of opponents Bournemouth and with the Owls looking to win automatic promotion from League One under new manager Dave Jones.

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Wilcox, who hails from Doncaster, watched the Owls’ midweek victory over Bury which ended in a 4-1 victory – the team’s joint highest victory of the season.

He said: ”Dave Jones couldn’t have asked for a better start and he will be looking at this next game and no doubt saying to his players ‘can we get back-to-back home wins?’.

“I think we saw a slight difference. They have been playing a quite direct style and are very dangerous from set-plays but we could see that – even though he had only had a few days with the players – he had tinkered a bit and they certainly played a little bit more football.

“It was important to go to the game on Tuesday,” he added. “It may change our thinking.”

Reflecting on his spell with the Owls, Wilcox said: “I had a fantastic time. I went there in 2006 with Brian and, looking back, we are really proud of what we did there, especially given the difficult financial situation the club was in.

“We had the three highest finishes in the Championship since they came out of the Premier League, finishing ninth in 2007, and we did the derby double over Sheffield United for the first time in 95 years.”

He is no stranger to Owls fans and the importance they play at home games. “They get behind their team but, like any fans, they can get frustrated if things are not going well,” he said. “It’s important that we try not to allow them to become their 12th man and also look to make our own mark on the game, too.”

Owls manager Jones will ask his players for ‘the same again’ today. “If we get the same performance, the same commitment levels, and the same result, I think everybody will be happy,” he said.