Gary Megson says he was ‘embarrassed’ by the team’s performance at Bury on Tuesday night.
The 2-1 defeat was the Owls’ second loss in four days and it left the Wednesday manager bewildered at the downturn in form following the victory against Rochdale on the opening day of the season.
He said: “It’s really upsetting. I told the players if anything happens to me and I get booted out I’d still be following Sheffield Wednesday and wouldn’t accept that (the performance at Bury) if I was watching the game.
“They’ve got to turn up and play. We’ve got one or two players at the moment who are doing us a favour and they’ve got to start shaping themselves. They’ve got to look for the ball.
“I find that at times I’ve been screaming at people to play and get involved.
“Apart from the seven minutes before Bury scored, we were all over the show, not because they have better players but because they wanted it more than us, which is an absolute crime.
“If we’d been rubbish against Rochdale, you hold your hands up; we weren’t, we were very good. In the space of 10 days we’ve taken our foot right off it.”
Wednesdayites outnumbered the home crowd at Gigg Lane - 2,618 out of an attendance of 5,219 - to leave Megson demanding his players show the same passion for the club as the supporters do.
“I can’t pay them a high enough compliment. They’re fantastic, That’s not a surprise to me. I knew they would be,” he said.
“I’m exactly the same as them. It hurts. I don’t like it. I get embarrassed...the second goal, you know... For people to be earning what some of the players do - and I don’t want to keep banging on about money - there has to be consequence to what you’re doing.
“What happens at football clubs is that the manager cops it, the chairman cops it.
“The people mincing about on really good money have got to start shaping themselves and have got to turn up.
“When they get the opportunity to play, they’ve got to play as if their lives depend on it, and not as if somebody else’s life depends on it.
“It’s still early days. If we can win the next two (both at home), it will get us back up there. We won’t win games playing the kind of football we played against Bury.”