Owls set for the big one

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GARY Megson today begins the countdown to a momentous Yorkshire derby, predicting that it will give his players an insight into Hillsborough’s big-time tradition.

The Owls take on promotion rivals Huddersfield Town on Saturday and expect a bumper crowd.

The game could be pivotal for both sides, with Megson’s men having gone four points clear of the Terriers after the weekend’s results.

“We are doing OK but it’s easy to slip up,” said the Owls manager, delighted with his side’s 2-0 win at Oldham.

“We have a huge game on Saturday. Hillsborough will be like it used to be; we’ll have a lot of people in there. It is a proper football match. We’re playing a terrific side.

“I keep trying to tell the players; a lot of them know about Wednesday, but on Saturday they’ll definitely see what Wednesday is all about.”

Owls supporters almost outnumbered home ones thanks to a 3,478 following at Oldham.

Megson will hope that Ben Marshall is back on song after the on-loan star from Stoke was taken off at half time on Saturday, with the boss feeling he did not look his usual self after being off for eight days owing to illness.

The Wednesday chief said that he has spoken to Stoke manager Tony Pulis and Derby chief Nigel Clough as part of his attempts to brings back Marshall and Stephen Bywater after their loans end, preferably on full transfers.

With no conclusions reached yet, the Wednesday manager said: “I’ve spoken to Tone and we’ll see we can do.

“I’m on the phone an awful lot to Tone; we’ve known each since we were 15. I have a great relationshio with Tone, a great lad, a terrific manager.

“It’s nice seeing what Tony’s saying - that if Ben does stay here he’s in good hands. Tony is one of my biggest mates, but if the boot was on the other foot, I’d do what’s best for Sheffield Wednesday. Tony will do what’s best for Stoke.

“I’ve spoken to Nige [Nigel Clough] about what’s going to happen in the future. We’ll do what we can.

“Milan [Mandaric] has said he’s going to back everything I want to do. What I want to do is to sign Ben, Stephen and Danny Batth properly.

“We have something going for us and we have to try to build on it rather than just keep putting plasters on something that needs sorting out.”