Owls ace out of cold and battling to keep place

Preston North End v Sheffield Wednesday...Owls Jon Otsemobor beats North Ends Steven Smith
Preston North End v Sheffield Wednesday...Owls Jon Otsemobor beats North Ends Steven Smith
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JON Otsemobor is glad to see the back of a “terrible” four months and ready for the challenge of trying to secure his Wednesday future in a happier New Year.

The right back made a surprise and successful return in the 2-0 win at Preston - his first senior game since he tore an Achilles tendon in August.

His contract runs out this summer and he wants to stay.

Loan star Stephen Bywater is already set for a fresh start after re-signing on a free transfer from Derby and has a contract for the rest of the season. He watched the Deepdale match.

Otsemobor told The Star: “The first part of the season has been terrible for me personally, but when you’re injured you want your team-mates to do well.

“The lads have been fantastic while I’ve been out of the team. I’ve been given my chance and we’ve done well, so long may it continue.”

On the contract issue, he said: “I’ve been in this position before; as long as I’m given the opportunity to play, all I can do is play to the best of my ability, and obviously when the time comes people will decide my future here.”

He said that “of course” he wanted to stay: “It’s a big club. Why would I want to leave?”

Manager Gary Megson praised Otsemobor’s performance at Preston, where loan full back James Tavernier made an effective switch to the right wing.

Megson, who had Lewis Buxton at right back before he too was injured, said: “The first time I played Jon he was absolutely terrific but he didn’t keep that standard.

“It’s up to him now. When he gets the opportunity he’s got to play like he did against Preston - he was terrific.”

But Megson today has to decide whether there are any of his players for whom two games in three days would be too big an ask.

He is “very pleased” to land Bywater - whose situation will be reassessed in the summer - but is set to keep Nicky Weaver in goal at home to Tranmere (3pm).

“Nicky gave us a calmness that is needed in that position,” he said. “It shows the value of experience. Nicky will keep his place.

“It would be churlish to leave him out; it would be churlish to leave Stephen out when we’ve lost only one of a dozen games he played for us.

“You’ve got to have that [strength in depth]. Stephen comes into it but Nicky has done well for us.”