Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Jones: As many as 14 teams are in danger

20 February 2013

Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones believes as many as 14 teams are being drawn into a relegation battle to survive in the npower Championship.

Jones watched his side play out a goalless draw with fellow strugglers Birmingham at St Andrew's, earning a point which keeps both teams still hovering above the drop zone.

Wolves' 2-1 defeat to relegation rivals Barnsley has seen them drop into the bottom three but, in what is always a tightly-fought division, they remain within just three wins of 11th-placed Burnley. Fifty points is usually considered enough for survival but Jones also feels that will not be enough this year, with fourth-bottom Huddersfield currently boasting as many as 37 with 14 games remaining.

"There's still a lot of football still to be played," said boss Jones, whose Owls sit in 19th place on 37 points, three places and two points below Birmingham. "I've said many times that two months ago it wasn't trying to get three out of four (teams), it was trying to get three out of 12 and looking at it now it could be three out of 14 in all honesty. It's getting so tight.

"That's what you want, you want it like that. You want other teams to hopefully drop points and you just keep ticking along. I think you will need more than 50 points (this season), I think it's going to be maybe 52, 53 points. It's getting so tight down there and there's not much between everybody.

"You get times like this in this division, the top one or two get a little bit twitchy and there's one or two who get a little bit twitchy at the bottom. It's a crazy division. I hate it with a passion. The only predictable thing is the unpredictability about it."

Both Jones and counterpart Lee Clark felt they could have claimed victory from a game which, ultimately, hinged on two moments in either half.

Blues goalkeeper Jack Butland pulled off a contender for save of the season as he incredibly clawed out a header from Owls centre-back Miguel Llera, before an unmarked Nikola Zigic failed to anticipate Chris Burke's cross and diverted the ball wide from merely four yards.

Zigic was included in Clark's XI having been dropped for Saturday's 4-0 defeat to Watford following his lacklustre efforts in training. And Clark hailed the response of the 6ft 8in Serbian striker, who enjoyed a busy evening despite missing more than one opportunity.

"Nikola's response was fantastic, absolutely brilliant," Clark said. "I spoke with him on Monday morning and the two things I said were, I think he's an extremely talented footballer, and I've got a lot of respect for him as a guy. But he has to understand I've got my principles, my standards, my rules. As I said, there was no rant, no shouting, it was me just making a decision I felt was right."

Advertisement block