The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

NERVES? What nerves? If Sh­effield Wed­nes­day were spooked by the Ful­ham vic­tory that de­posed them from the top six ahead of kick-off, it didn’t show.

In a sea­son that has fre­quently failed to meet ex­pec­ta­tions, this was a per­for­mance that re­called the adren­a­line fu­elled dis­plays of 12 months ago, full of flu­ency, speed and in­tent. The re­turn of Gary Hooper, ex­cel­lent un­til he tired late on, played a part but it was David Jones who oiled this re­fur­bished ma­chine.

The Owls have missed the legs and com­po­sure of in­jured mid­fielder Kieran Lee but in Jones, ti­tle win­ner with Burn­ley last year, the per­fect re­place­ment has been in their midst all along.

New­cas­tle sim­ply weren’t at the races, phys­i­cally or men­tally. Per­haps the drama of that wacky Wed­nes­day against Bur­ton took it out of them.

Not that it mat­ters. Huddersfield’s de­feat at Not­ting­ham For­est means the Mags are all but home and hosed.

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