WEDNESDAYITE chairman Nigel Short reckons manager Gary Megson will have a suitable replacement lined up should the Owls not retain the services of Ben Marshall.
The League One promotion aspirants want to extend Marshall’s stay at Hillsborough. The winger’s loan spell is set to expire after the top-of-the-table clash with Charlton Athletic this weekend.
Marshall’s parent club, Stoke City, refused permission for him to play in the Owls’ FA Cup victory over West Ham. Megson has stated negotiations have not gone “brilliantly” between Wednesday and the Potters over Marshall, who’s contract runs out at the Britannia Stadium in the summer.
Short told The Star: “I am completely confident Gary [Megson] will have something up his sleeve if we can’t keep Ben [Marshall] until the end of the season.
“I would love it, along with another 25,000 Wednesday fans, if we sign him. Ben is a vital piece in the jig-saw but we managed without him against West Ham.
“JJ [Jermaine Johnson] had a fantastic game, apart from his glaring miss, considering he’s not played for a while. Saying that, we do need someone in Ben’s ilk who can bring creativity to the side.”
Short is a big admirer of Huddersfield Town’s left winger Gary Roberts. The talented wing ace, who created three of Jordan Rhodes’ four goals in the 4-4 draw with Wednesday last month, becomes a free agent at the end of the season.
“If we can’t keep Marshall, signing Roberts on a permanent basis would soften the blow and I think that would be a better move for the club,” said Short. “That’s my opinion. Roberts is a good player and he would strengthen our side and also weaken one of our close rivals.”
Chris O’Grady’s late strike saw Megson’s men dump out the Hammers from Britain’s oldest cup competition on Sunday. It was his fourth goal since joining Wednesday and Short said he was pleased the striker grabbed the winner.
“Chris gets through an immense amount of work and is a very important player to the side,” said Short. “I’m sure he would love to score a few more and so do the fans.”
Short said he was not disappointed to be paired with Blackpool in the next round of the cup, saying: “It is another Championship club for us to test ourselves against and gives us an opportunity to get into the next round.”