Sheffield Wednesday boss Jones keen to extend Wickham stay

The former Ipswich striker moved to Hillsborough on a one-month loan in February, but the Owls manager hopes to convince Sunderland to agree to a further temporary deal
Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones says he is eager to extend Sunderland striker Connor Wickham's loan stay with the club.

The 19-year-old has made four appearances for the struggling Championship outfit since joining on a one-month deal back in February.

And, with Danny Graham and Steven Fletcher enjoying a prolonged run in the Black Cats' first team, Jones is hoping he can persuade Sunderland to allow Wickham to stay longer.

“I would like to keep Connor definitely,” he told reporters. “I think he would like to stay. It will all depend on what Martin O’Neill feels about him.”

Wickham has yet to net for the Owls during his temporary stay, but Jones has underlined his belief in the England Under-21 international's potential.

“He has not played a lot of football over the last year and that eventually does catch up with you,” Jones added. “He will have his ups and his downs but people forget his age.

“He is still a baby in footballing terms and if you are not playing week-in, week-out, then you are not learning as much. It is game time that gives you the experience. It is not training.

“I think the kid has got an abundance of ability. It is just finding the switch which will enable him to go and push on for the rest of his career.

“I think at the moment it is hard work for him. He just needs to relax and play because he is a very, very good player.

“Look at Gareth Bale. How much did Spurs pay for him and how long did it take for him to develop? And Aaron Lennon. These are all young players who have gone for big money and are just expected to perform.”