O’Grady aims for the top with Wednesday

Megson gets his man: Owls boss Gary with �350,000 striker Chris O'Grady.              Picture: Barry Richardson
Megson gets his man: Owls boss Gary with �350,000 striker Chris O'Grady. Picture: Barry Richardson
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CHRIS O’Grady believes that his best is yet to come and that the Owls can help him to fulfil his potential.

The club’s 25-year-old new striker has also told why he opted for Hillsborough despite interest from two other Yorkshire-area clubs - believed to have been Barnsley and Huddersfield.

O’Grady was swayed because he feels the Owls are a club with Premier League potential and a fan base to match.

The club’s desire to get on to an upward path matches his own, after a downturn in his career after he left Rotherham for Oldham and then went out on loan to Bury, Bradford and Stockport.

“You have to set your standards high,” said the £350,000 centre forward from Rochdale who has now made the biggest move of his career. “This club is a Championship club, a Premier League club really; that has to be the target, and the target we need to reach.”

“It’s been a tough road for me. I was at Rotherham. I got a move to Oldham. which didn’t quite work out, so I was in limbo, really.

“I took the move down into League Two; I’m really grateful to Rochdale for giving that platform to resurrect my career.

“Now I’ve moved to Sheffield Wednesday, so that says what they have done for me.

“I think I’ve got a lot more to give.

“You look at some young players who peak early and go on a downward spiral. I want to prove I’m the opposite to that and I have built my way up.

“I’m still nowhere near what I think I can do.”

Gary Megson has revealed that O’Grady was wanted by a Championship club and a League One club who are “having a right go at it” - and that both outfits are in the Yorkshire area.

Huddersfield, play-off finalists last year, have spent big and aim for promotion this time. Barnsley would also fit the bill as O’Grady suitors; manager Keith Hill was his boss at Rochdale and has already taken midfielder Matt Done and right back Scott Wiseman - who was another Megson target - from Spotland to Oakwell.

O’Grady was giving no clues. He also said: “Once I’d decided on the club, first of all, I was only deciding on one, so I wasn’t comparing it [financially] to anything else.

“My agent had been dealing with Sheffield Wednesday for a few months, and that was the one I wanted to get done.”

O’Grady says he had “a little idea” that the deal was about to go through, before he sat on the Rochdale bench on Saturday: “I woke on Saturday thinking it was going to be a strange day. It was.”

When he went in the second half, he was booed by some Wednesday fans: “I’ve just got to make sure they never boo me again!”

He knows what kind if fervent support that the Owls command for he has lived in Sheffield for around five years and since his Rotherham United days:

“Sheffield Wednesday are one of the biggest clubs in the country. This is a really big opportunity for me, and I’m grateful for it.

“It was a case of weighing up all sorts of factors - my family as well. I have a young family; we live in Sheffield. Obviously there’s also the size of the club, and the fans. I wanted to be a part of that.”

He says that spurning the chance of immediate Championship football was “not taking risk at all,” adding:

“If you believe in yourself and the club, you’re going to be in the Championship, which is where you wanted to be anyway.”

Megson said: “Chris has joined us because it’s Sheffield Wednesday. He could have gone to a higher club, and I dare say he could have got better wages at another club in our division.”

The Owls manager’s decision to make large-scale changes for tonight’s Carling Cup tie against Blackpool has been matched by Seasiders boss Ian Holloway, who is set to field a different 11 after last Friday’s 1-0 Championship win at Hull.

MATCHFACTS

The Teams

OWLS (possible): Weaver or O’Donnell; Otsemobor, R Johnson, Beevers, Reynolds; Sedgwick, O’Connor, Coke, D Jones; Madine, Morrison. (4-4-2).

SEASIDERS: (possible): Halstead; Basham, Eastham, Hill, Harris; Sylvestre, Martinez, Tomsett; Clarke, Sutherland, Ince. (4-3-3).

The Referee

EDDIE ILDERTON (Tyne and Wear): Refereed Brighton’s 2-1 win against Doncaster on Saturday. A year ago, he took the Owls’ 2-0 opening-day win against Dagenham, and on the last day of the campaign he sent off Shane Lowry in Sheffield United’s 4-0 defeat at Swansea.