GARY Megson is looking for players to earn their corn - and admires the way stand-ins have done exactly that in the absence of Gary Madine and Lewis Buxton.
“I am very pleased that we’ve managed to stay at the business end of League One and reach the fourth round of the FA Cup without two of our better players,” he said.
“Lewis has been terrific all season. But we brought in James Tavernier and he did okay; Jon Otsemobor has come back and been terrific.”
Megson could also cite the examples of main strikers Chris O’Grady, Clinton Morrison, Ryan Lowe and Sanchez Watt for the way they have coped: “I’ve been really pleased with the efforts of everbody who has been involved since they [Madine and Buxton] have been out,” he said.
Megson added Buxton was not ready for today’s game against Charlton, and hinted that no risks would be taken with Madine: “The two of them have only just come back into training, Gary a few days the earlier. It’s whether or not it’s worth the risk of putting Gary in. Gary himself will have a say in that, based on how he feels.”
Buxton could have a reserve game as a first step, as Madine has already done: “Possibly,” said Megson. “But Lewis, if not the fittest, is in the top three of our fittest lads.”
Megson warned no-one will be an automatic choice and places will have to be earned. Giles Coke, meanwhile, has rejoined Bury on loan.