Sheffield Wednesday in the land of dreams

Gary Megson
Gary Megson
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WEDNESDAY will get a taste of the big time when they take on a Premier League side in the last 16 of the FA Cup tomorrow backed by a sell-out away following of 4,200.

It will be a glimpse of what life could be like on a regular basis if and when the Owls return to the level where many of those supporters feel they belong.

Manager Gary Megson believes Wednesday have a better ground and better support than the Blues and there is no place like Hillsborough when times are good.

But such is the present gulf between the teams that it would be a big shock if the Owls avoid defeat tomorrow.

“We have to use it as an opportunity to get a good result and establish a bit of momentum,” said Megson.

“If we can get a good result at St. Andrews, it would be huge for us in terms of confidence.

“It’s also an opportunity to keep putting into practice the things we are trying to instil into the players.”

His mantra is hard work and organisation - and if those qualities are upheld then hopefully the creative ability of his team will start to show.

There will be even less of a burden of expectation on the players than there was before the tie at Bristol City, where the Owls upset the odds with a thrilling 3-0 victory.

Megson reflects on the time when he led Bolton to a surprise win at St Andrews, and on the task ahead and the relationship between the Owls and those travelling fans - many of whom turned on the team during Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat at Tranmere.

“Grounds like St Andrews are great, but I don’t think it’s as good as the one we play in,” he said.

“Blues have terrific support, but if we were in the same position we’d have double that. This is a huge, huge club and we’ve got to get it moving.”

Birmimgham, who had 23,000 for a win against Stoke last Saturday, and 28,000 for Tuesday’s defeat by Newcastle, are in the Carling Cup Final against Arsenal a week on Sunday but Megson believes that manager Alex McLeish will field a strong side.

“They have a choice betweeen Martins, Zigic and Jerome up front; they have good players all over the place; in the middle of the park, Bowyer, Ferguson, Gardner,” he said. “We have to forget all that stuff and take the game to them. If we sit back, we’ll get done. We have to hope we catch Blues on a day when it doesn’t go for them.

“I think Alex will certainly put out a strong team. They could get to the sixth round, get a decent home draw and go on to reach a second final.

“I think they’d only lost two or three games in two years, I went there with Bolton and we turned them over. It can be done, but you have to play well and really go for it.”

Megson appreciates the Owls’ support and understands the frustation of those who barracked the team at Tranmere and to a lesser degree at Rochdale.

“We’re taking 4,200 to St Andrews; we asked for another 3,000 tickets and they wouldn’t give them to us,” he said.

“At the last two away games I’ve sent the players over to thank the fans and they’ve got slaughtered for it, But it’s the right thing to do.

“Our supporters will react to anybody who has a really good go, shows hard work and commitment; they also want good results. But they will react to anybody who shows the same passion for the shirt that they do.”