BECAUSE he already lived in Sheffield, Gary Megson knew that in becoming Wednesday manager he would come under an even more intense spotlight when mixing with Owls and Blades fans during everyday life.
“I made a conscious decision that I wasn’t going to change the way I live,” he says.
“The Wednesday supporters are respectful. Whenever we’ve spoken they’ve had their input and been amusing!
“United fans as well - they’ve been fine, though maybe it was a bit grudging.
“There were three of them last week who thought I’d done a good job. They weren’t too happy about that but they were humorous about it!
“I’m Wednesday through and through, but there would be no-one more pleased than me if we go up and they do.
“I loved the build-up to the last game between the clubs. This city is big enough for two Premier League sides.”
Megson took West Brom into the top flight twice and stabilised Bolton when they were at rock bottom.
But to see the Owls flying high would mean more to him, from a personal perspective.
He is proud of his two feats at Albion: taking them up when it was not expected, and doing it when there was a burden of expectation.
“I took over at Bolton after they had made their worst ever start, and in the kind of atmosphere that Steve Kean has had to cope with at Blackburn. yet kept them up.
“It will be for other people to judge what I do here, but to succeed here would mean more to me than anything else.
“It’s a personal thing. It’s my club, my people. I’m exactly the same as the fans.”
Megson also draws on his West Brom experience to illustrate how adversity can be turned into success.
He rates the Owls’ 5-1 defeat at Stevenage this season as a low point; but so was Albion’s 4-1 defeat in the first game of the season after they had been relegated.
“We got beaten 4-1 at Walsall. I was fuming, “ he said. “You don’t want that kind of thing to happen; you don’t want to need a turning point. But, looking back, it turned out to be the best result of the season. I got into the players. We won seven games on the trot and got promoted with three games to spare.”
Megson believes that the Owls had an off night at Stevenage: They followed that with four successive wins, and their promotion push has been sustained.
“We’re joint second now. It’s going to be close. No one game is going to decide anybody’s fate at a stroke - but it will have a bearing on what you are going to do,” he said.
n MK Dons have announced that the FA have decided to take no further action against Dons manager Karl Robinson after his sending-off aginst the Owls.