There must have been times, certainly before Christmas, when Milan Mandaric will have been tempted to wield the axe on Sheffield Wednesday's manager Dave Jones. 

Wednesday had gone through a dreadful sequence of results during November and December, losing seven consecutive league games. They were languishing in the relegation zone, confidence was low and supporters were questioning Dave Jones' future. 

It would have been all too easy for Mandaric to wield the axe particularly given his history in dismissing managers. The Chairman though, decided to stick with his man. 

The Owls, of all teams, need stability and continuity after a decade, or more, of upheaval. Mandaric has clearly recognised this and his decision to keep Jones in the Hillsborough hot seat has been vindicated by an upturn in results. 

Realising that yet another manager would not make a difference at Hillsborough, Wednesday's problems were much more deep rooted than that. 

Dave Jones and Milan Mandaric have now instilled a belief, not just in the players, but also throughout the club, that they can truly end their exile from the Premier League. This year is all about survival but no doubt plans are in place to push on and challenge for promotion to the Premier League. The debt hanging over the club has now been cleared, allowing them to focus on their future on the pitch. 

Wednesday are now just outside the relegation zone in the Championship and although still in danger, they are now playing with greater confidence, particularly away from home where they have picked up some impressive results. 

There is more strength in depth within the squad, the defence is resolute and the team is organised, finally adapting to life in the division since promotion last year. 

When people talk about sleeping giants outside the Premier league, then this is a club that falls into that bracket. Wednesday, even during their years in league one, were averaging attendances of around 20,000 and have a fan base admired by many clubs. However, with this comes pressure and expectation, perhaps this is what has lead to the downfall of many managers over the last decade.

The Owls must continue to work hard this season as no club has a given right to success. But, the optimism around the club at the moment is such that the players should be inspired and encouraged by what is happening at Hillsborough. Mandaric and Jones seem to be the ideal partnership to bring the glory days back to the club, and clearly the owner holds the manager in high regard. Wednesday's huge following certainly deserves a period of success after the sufferings of recent years.


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