THERE will be no fitter team than Sheffield Wednesday in League One next season, insists Gary Megson.
The Owls manager believes that while football abounds with uncertainty, fitness levels can be targeted with accuracy.
“Fitness is a choice; we will be the fittest team in the division,” he said.
“Or should I say some might be as fit as us but nobody will be fitter.”
When Megson was a Wednesday player he experienced tough training regimes under Howard Wilkinson’s management, in the 1980s.
“What we’ll do isn’t taken directly from Howard; I’ve put my own methods into practice wherever I’ve managed,” he said.
“But the work we did under him was seriously gruelling.”
The 52-year-old Wednesday boss believes that such training can have long-term benefits.
“A lot players who played for Howard at that time played for a lot longer than ordinarily they would,” he said. “There were loads of us still playing at around 35-36; Gary Shelton went on until he was nearly 40.”
Megson is also looking for the Owls to be a well-organised team: “We’ll be fit, we’ll be as organised as any team in the division. Then if we’ve got the right players, we should start to shape ourselves a bit.”
The squad report back for training on June 29.
Meanwhile, Claude Davis, the defender who has been linked with the Owls, says that Crystal Palace did a U-turn in releasing him.
“A deal had been in place four days before, but the club changed their mind. I was disappointed and surprised, but I’m all right - I just have to move on,” he said.
“I respect the gaffer [Dougie Freedman] because he’s a straight-talker.”