Football - Jones revels in Wednesday survival

Dave Jones described guiding Sheffield Wednesday to npower Championship safety as a bigger achievement than promotion from League One last year, as they secured their status with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough at Hillsborough.

PA Sport

Wednesday started the game just one point and two places above the relegation zone and with the pessimists expecting the worst.

However, they knew a victory would ensure second-tier football again next season and goals from Steve Howard and Leroy Lita banished the spectre of relegation inside the first half-hour.

It was a clear relief for the manager after what had been a marathon season.

Jones said: "This is a far bigger achievement than last year. Nobody will ever sway me on that because this has been a tough year for this football club.

"I think we've moved up about four places so when you look at the table it looks like an easy one. But it's been a tough one and I am delighted with everybody associated with the club.

"And that includes the supporters as well because that has been absolutely next to none.

"Everything was in jeopardy: if the club gets relegated it affects everybody, not just the players - the supporters, the whole staff. So I made sure the players knew about that: their responsibility is to keep this club in this division."

For Jones, though, there will be no complacency.

He said: "We've achieved what we set out (to do). We got promoted, we stabilised for another season at least in this division. Now it's what do we do? Do we push on or do we stagnate - you don't employ me if you want to stagnate on, I want to push on."

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