Defiant Dave Jones seeks courage after Sheffield Wednesday crumble against Watford

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Watford 4

Hillsborough

Dave Jones went through the wringer again last night despite a pre-match declaration of support from his Sheffield Wednesday chairman, Milan Mandaric. However, there are many who feel that could be a cause for even greater anxiety now for a manager with 12 defeats and only two wins in his last 16 matches, the last five of which had been lost.

Mandaric, no stranger to sackings, had tempered his backing and "stick together" rhetoric by pledging that "one way or another" he, as owner, would see the Owls safe.

Wednesday enjoyed the rarity of an early lead against Watford only to concede a soft equaliser, then miss a penalty before getting totally overwhelmed. After-wards Jones came out fighting and said: "Have I become a bad manager overnight? The number of managers at this club in the past tells you that chopping and changing is not the right thing." But he admitted: "It's as if the players did the opposite of what they were told. They can't hide. They've got to be big and brave."

Watford are challenging opposition for any side in any circumstances these days. Gianfranco Zola's team arrived on the back of a five-match unbeaten run. His decision to include Fernando Forestieri was well justified as the striker popped up with the equaliser after Watford had gifted Wednesday an early opener, Michail Antonio seizing on Marco Cassetti's ill-judged pass. Watford levelled from a throw-in that saw Forestieri find himself free in the area to beat Chris Kirkland.

The visitors had an escape on the half-hour when Mamady Sidibé played in Jay Bothroyd who was brought down from behind by Daniel Pudil as he appeared poised to shoot. Manuel Almunia saved the weak spot-kick from Chris Lines and Watford then ran away with the game in the second half as Wednesday fell apart.

Kirkland was left helpless by non-existent marking at Mark Yeates' 67th-minute free-kick. Alexandre Geijo,at the far post, headed home. Substitute Troy Deeney then scored sweetly left-footed with his first touch seconds after leaving the bench and Yeates added a fourth with a 20-yard volley.

Zola said: "I'm delighted with that performance and we haven't reached our full potential yet.

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Kirkland; Buxton (Johnson, 66), Gardner (Taylor, h-t), Llera, Helan; Antonio, Lines, Corry, McCabe (Semedo, 50); Bothroyd, Sidibé. Substitutes not used Bywater, O'Grady, Mayor, Jones.

Watford (5-3-2): Almunia; Cassetti, Hall, Hoban, Ekstrand, Pudil (Dickinson, 85); Chalobah, Hogg, Yeates (Murray, 89); Geijo, Forestieri(Deeney, 71) Substitutes not used Bonham, Vydra, Smith, Battocchio.

Referee T Bates (Staffordshire).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project