SHEFFIELD Wednesday’s star young imports will have to cope with opponents who could make life increasingly hard for them, believes Dave Jones.
Rhys McCabe, from Scotland, and Rodri, from Spain, have revelled in their first taste of English football within the last week.
But their manager feels it will be more difficult for them to make an impact as other teams grow more familiar with their strengths.
That will provide a different test of their undoubted talent, Jones feels.
“Rodri is only young and has a long way to go,” said Jones of the 22-year-old striker from Barcelona
“He’s learning his trade, and he’ll have to learn it pretty fast at this level because once people know about him, they’re going to make it hard for him, and then we’ll see whether he’s got that bit extra.”
When Jones signed the 20-year-old McCabe from Rangers he thought he could knock on the first-team door now and certainly be one for the future if not a first-11 player straight away.
“We thought maybe he would be pushing, but he has grabbed his opportunity; the kid has been absolutely fantastic. We know we’ve got a good young player,” he said.
“It doesn’t have to be a foreign
er. With any young players who come in and nobody has seen them before, then once they’ve adapted to it then teams will try to shut down that source that you have.
“That’s when the players have to learn something else. It will be a learning process for Rodri for a few months.
“We brought in Rhys. When people watch him more, they’ll get to know him more, and that’s when he’s got to do something else. That’s your growing curve. That’s what gives you the edge on anybody else.”
Jones could choose the same side against Millwall tomorrow as the one that began Tuesday’s 3-2 win against Birmingham.
New winger Danny Mayor, 21, is building up his general fitness because he didn’t do a full pre-season of training with Preston.
Jones is non-committal about Anthony Gardner’s chances but it seems unlikely he will play so soon after a hamstring injury, and the boss acknowledges that Mark Beevers, 22, did a sound job on Tuesday.
“He did well,” said Jones, “It showed that the training programme for the lads who haven’t been playing is working for them. He didn’t look out of place.
“He’s still a young player. He’s got all the attributes to be a centre-half.”
Teams and ref
OWLS (probable): Kirkland; Buxton, Llera, Beevers, R Johnson; Antonio, Semedo, McCabe, J Johnson; Rodri, O’Grady (4-4-2).
LIONS (possible): Taylor; Dunne, Osbourne, Lowry, Malone; Henry, Abdou, Wright, Trotter: Henderson, Keogh (4-4-2).
Mick Russell (Herts): Has officiated at one Capital One Cup tie (Bury v Middlesbrough) and two League Two games so far this season. Handled the Owls’ 4-1 home win against Bury in March, when Michail Antonio scored two and Gary Madine and Ryan Lowe got the others.