Dave Jones has reflected on a momentous Championship campaign following the Owls’ final-day survival and says the hard work must continue.
The 2-0 win over Middlesbrough guaranteed second tier football at Hillsborough next term and Jones hailed his players for keeping their nerve.
He said: “It’s been a long, hard season and I can’t praise or thank the players enough for that performance. We now need to enjoy the achievement of staying in this division and work harder and harder to make sure we continue to improve.
“The players were calm today, they were professional and they saw the job through. We got the early goal that we needed and that helped calm the nerves.
“We got better and better, then we got the second and we looked comfortable. We created plenty of chances and I know the crowd wanted the third goal but at 2-0 after the break we had no reason to chase the third goal.
“If it was going to come, it would come, but the job was done. We held the ball, we kept the ball and I thought we were professional from start to finish.
“The players knew what was required from them and they have stepped up to the plate. When you are relegated, it’s not just the players and the staff affected, it’s everyone at the club.
“So I’m really pleased for everyone connected with Sheffield Wednesday today and not least the supporters because they have been second to none all season.”
Jones picked out key performances from Jermaine Johnson and Steve Howard as the Owls did the necessary to secure their place in the Championship.
Johnson recovered from a recent hamstring strain to torment the Boro defence in the early exchanges, during which Howard posted his first goal for the club.
He added: “I thought JJ was unplayable in that first 20 minutes and he did exactly what we asked of him.
“We asked him to give us as much as he possibly could and he did that. He had a Grade 2 hamstring injury so to come back so quickly is credit to him.
“And the big man up front gave absolutely everything today, he’s worked himself into the ground.
“I was so pleased for the lad because he has been threatening that since he came here.
“From the minute he’s come into the place, he’s been a pleasure to work with and he’s had an impact.
“But listen, I have nothing but praise for all of them today. They knew what they had to do and they delivered.”