Gaz salutes loan hot-shot

Striker's praise: Gary Madine rates new arrival John Bostock as a classy player and hopes he can show his form at Hillsborough after moving in on loan from Tottenham.
Striker's praise: Gary Madine rates new arrival John Bostock as a classy player and hopes he can show his form at Hillsborough after moving in on loan from Tottenham.
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GARY Madine says he once saw John Bostock hit a shot into the top corner from 40 yards.

The Owls striker hopes that the club’s 20-year-old new signing can fulfil at Hillsborough the potential that made him a £700,000 teenager.

Spurs kid Bostock was playing on loan for Hull when Madine saw his feat.

“The class is still there; you don’t lose it,” says the Owls’ 12-goal centre forward.

“Hopefully he’ll do that sort of stuff for us.”

Madine feels that Bostock can help to compensate for Ben Marshall’s exit.

“Ben was a quality player. But we have signed Mike Jones, who is a good crosser of the ball, and John Bostock.

“Ben would be a miss for any team, but I think we have a good enough squad to get on with it.”

Gary Megson is not saying which position Bostock is earmarked for, and he attaches no significance to the fact that the newcomer has been given Marshall’s No 10 shirt.

But left wing is one of the positions where the versatile loan signing is capable of playing.

“Initially he needs a bit of time to settle in,” says Megson. “He comes highly recommended from the people st Spurs. We’ve seen him ourselves. He’s got a lot to offer in terms of ability, strength and pace. He can play left or right or in the middle of the park, and he can do a job up front.”

Megson says Bostock “may be involved in some way” at MK Dons tonight. That could well be on the bench.

The Owls manager, like Madine, can see him developing the form that made him a hot prospect as a teenager at Crystal Palace:

“It’s up to him. He’s got to get into our team first. He’s got to play well, and I’m sure he will when he gets the opportunity. He’s here until the end of the season; he doesn’t have to do it all in the next 24 hours.”

Megson echoes Madine’s sentiment that the Owls still have a powerful squad despite the departure of Marshall, and the Owls boss said yesterday he did not expect any further additions before today’s transfer deadline.

“We have 19 fit players and I’d be comfortable playing any one of those in the starting 11. “We’ve brought in Mike Jones for £75,000 and John Bostock on loan. Is anything else going to happen?, I’d say no.”

Though regretting the loss of Marshall, Megson said: “We’ve been asking to try and loan him. That was never going to happen because they (Marshall and Stoke) couldn’t agree on a contract.

“We’ll be ok. It was never a one-man team. He was just a quality player. I would have loved to work with him again.

“But we’ve just played against a club (Blackpool) who were in the Premier League last season and we made quite a few chances against them away from home.”

Madine will return along with other first-team regulars tonight after being left out of the FA Cup tie.

He was a big fan of Alan Smith’s and played against him while on loan at Coventry - he has Smith’s shirt from that day: “But he’s in League One now playing against us, so he’s no different.

“MK Dons played well against us at Hillsborough but we outplayed them. Hopefully we can do that again.

If we beat them 3-1 again, I’ll not be surprised.”

Teams and ref

DONS (possible): Martin, A Smith, MacKenzie, Flanagan, Lewington, Chadwick, O’Shea, Gleeson, Bowditch, Ibehre, MacDonald. (4-4-1-1).

OWLS (possible): Bywater, Otsemobor, Batth, Llera or R Jones, R Johnson, Buxton, Lines, Semedo, J Johnson, Madine, O’Grady. (4-4-2).

REFEREE: James Linington (Newport): Handled the Owls’ 3-2 home win against Scunthorpe in August, when Gary Madine scored two and Ben Marshall one. Lives on the Isle of Wight and loves it there so does not mind the ferry journey.

One to watch

Charlie MacDonald is Dons’ top scorer with seven goals in the league and two in the cup. Was signed for £35,000 from Brentford in August and wears the shirt left vacant by Sam Baldock, who was sold to West Ham for £2m and played against the Owls recently.

History lesson

MK Dons have to go back to their previous existence as Wimbledon to find a win against Wednesday: 3-0 at home in November, 2002, and the Owls won the return 4-2 the following April. Since then, the teams have drawn three and the Owls have won two.