THE hurt of a 15-year slide

Fighting talk: Gary Megson is calling on the Owls to play as if their lives depend on it and wonders if the players  realise how big the club is.

Fighting talk: Gary Megson is calling on the Owls to play as if their lives depend on it and wonders if the players realise how big the club is.

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GARY Megson says the league position “really hurts” him as he strives to restore Sheffield Wednesday to former glories.

But he is not sure whether his players realise how big the Owls are and is urging his squad to put the club first.

Megson insists it is not about individuals but about a common cause of reversing Hillsborough’s slide towards the lower reaches of League One.

“To realise how big the club is, you need to have been here when it was big; I played against Liverpool and there were nearly 50,000 here,” he said. “My dad played here on front of even more.

“Historically, this place is huge. This is the biggest club in the north of England, in my view. Yet we are where we are.

“With all due respect, this club used to be THE club, with arguably Leeds. Now Doncaster are in the Championship, Barnsley are in the Championship; this club for 15 years has seen a huge decline. It’s sad.”

Megson expects the Owls to battle to stave off the threat of relegation - starting against Colchester at Hillsborough this afternoon.

“We have to start taking the initiative and we have to start playing as if our lives depend on it. Sheffield Wednesday has to come first - not individuals,” he said.

He also believes that the home crowd are ready to respond to the scrap ahead: “We have the support. We have to give them a reason to get involved.

“I have listened to other managers who worked here a long time ago talk about how they want the team to play, and I think ‘it’s the middle of South Yorkshire’. It responds to people like Mel Sterland, Mike Lyons, David Hirst.

“Yes it’s about Benito Carbone, Paolo Di Canio, they’re the icing on the cake, but it’s about scrapping and being honest and having a real good go.

“We have five of our last eight games at home and we have to use that as a big advantage.”

The FA have considered Megson’s comments to the media about referee Steve Rushton at the Dagenham match and asked for his observations by Tuesday afternoon.

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