Gary Megson is bringing back Clinton Morrison amid a warning to his jubilant Sheffield Wednesday players: The hard work starts here.
It’s Gary Madine goal machine and Megson mean machine as the Owls look to kick on from third place by maintaining their 100 per cent home record again Colchester on Saturday.
With third forward Ryan Lowe now “fully fit” and available for selection, Morrison will replace David McGoldrick - who has returned to Nottingham Forest.
“Clinton’s fine and there was no fall-out,” said Megson, who has dictated the veteran marksman’s return from MK Dons where he has scored three goals in four starts during a loan deal subsidised by the Owls.
“I don’t have fall-outs - I just say what I think. MK are just behind us in the table and we’re not in the business of doing favours to other teams. If they want a player of Clinton’s calibre then they will have to pay for him.”
Megson is warning that every good result - now five unbeaten since the Stevenage debacle - will make the resurgence harder to maintain.
“We must have the good sense to realise what it is that is getting us these results and keep it going,” Megson told the Telegraph, refusing to share the euphoria over last Sunday’s dramatic Bramall Lane comeback because “we should have won as the better team”.
“Each time we win at home it makes the next game harder. Some teams will come here and play differently because of it; we’ve got to cope with that regardless.”
There have been no landslide wins even at Hillsborough; some games have been closely fought and Wednesday have prevailed because of the doggedness and drive in their game, allied to the extra quality delivered by the likes of Madine and Ben Marshall.
Having been highly suspicious of his side during the formative stages of his reign, Megson now trusts them to deliver.
“You need to know what you’re going to get and one or two are not always in the team because of that,” he said. “At the moment I know with all of them that I’m going to get a minimum 100% effort.
“We’ve got some good players and some right good characters. I’ve always made a great play of getting the first goal and yet we conceded first in the derby, as we did against Notts County and Charlton, and still come back.”
Megson is renowned as a hard taskmaster who is unafraid to be confrontational - and yet every single outfield player charged in his direction in celebration of Madine’s late leveller at Bramall Lane.
“It wasn’t about me,” he protested. “They’re all together - and not just the ones playing. I brought all the players to the derby. Everybody has a fall-out now and then but there’s a big togetherness about this group.
“Then again, the biggest thing about Bramall Lane for me wasn’t on the pitch - it was our support. It was amazing, mind-boggling. That’s not buttering up, either.
“There’s no moaning or groaning from them, even when we’re behind. There is an intelligence to know that it doesn’t help to get on at somebody.
“Our supporters are great in terms of quality as well as quantity. We have players who’ve been at a lot of clubs and they all have admiration for the fans.”
Megson will throw out the welcome mat to Morrison as well barring a return to number crunching with MK after McGoldrick, unhappy not to be starting games, stated a preference to return to Forest under a new manager in Steve Cotterill.
Not that Morrison will disturb the firmly established pairing of Chris O’Grady and 11-goal Madine.
“Chris was terrific last Sunday,” added the manager. “He led the line well, won headers, got a goal and showed that he can take a bit of the physical stuff off Gary.
“And the only thing that will stop Gary is himself. We could do without the couple of silly bookings that have put him on four (one away from suspension). There’s been a maturing of him in the last couple of months.
“It’s mainly down to hard work. He can still get better and better.”