New system works

Like his old self: Mark Beevers beats Bournemouth's Danny Hollands at Dean Court.
Like his old self: Mark Beevers beats Bournemouth's Danny Hollands at Dean Court.
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GARY Megson is refusing to take the credit for the improvement in his team’s performance at Bournemouth.

A switch from 4-4-2 to a 4-5-1 formation was a big success - but the Owls boss insists: “It’s not about systems, it’s about players.”

He was pleased with the way the team applied themselves and with a new solidity as they kept a clean sheet for the first time in 12 league games.

Megson is not saying whether the new-look pattern will be the norm.

Although he played Gary Madine as a lone central striker, he explained: “The idea was to suck people in and get in there with Gary Teale and Chris Sedgwick [who played on the flanks].

“We did that and we did have opportunities especially in the first half. When you’re playing like that, you need to score, and that’s the only thing we can be a bit disappointed about.

“It’s not about formations; the only thing that football is about is the players you’ve got.

“We decided to use that formation because we were on a horrendous losing run. We needed to be more solid and we were.

“But we also created more chances with one up front, and the most chances since I’ve been here.”

Megson also said: “I was talking to the chairman before the game; he said ‘we’re playing with one up front’....[I said] we had three up, trying to get another two to join him [Madine].

“We got Liam Palmer in there, Tommy Miller in there, and Chris Sedgwick, Gary Madine and Isaiah Osbourne had chances.

“There were a lot of positives. We’re not going to get carried away, but it was a much better performance.”

Megson praised Palmer’s full league debut: “He’s a young boy with great ability. We’re trying to say to him keep getting on the ball. He was the best player with the ball at his feet on that pitch.

“He can be really pleased with his debut.”

The Owls boss also praised the new-look back four: “You can’t ask for anything more than to go to a side who are second in the table and keep a clean sheet.

“Defenders have been really maligned, including by me, but right the way across the back they did very well. We looked a lot more solid.

“Yes, the penalty was a mistake by Reda Johnson, but he’s been terrific in the last three games.

“Mark Beevers looked like the kind of player I was sending the scouts across from Bolton to watch every week. He’s been looking nothing like that - but this time he looked much more like his old self.

“Tommy Spurr started at left back for the first time in a long time and did well, but can do more. Richard Hinds had not played for a long, long time; I was really pleased with him until he got a bit tired.

“Now we have to make sure that happens all the time, and we take our chances at the other end.”

The Owls go to Carlisle on Saturday and end a run of five consecutive away games, four of them in the League.

Megson added: “We’ve got to go to Carlisle and do the same things that we did at Bournemouth, but this time hopefully take one or two chances.”