Tireless midfielder praised by Megson for his ‘terrific’ workrate wants to see more of same from Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday v Colchester Utd.....Owls James O'Connor battling away for his team
Sheffield Wednesday v Colchester Utd.....Owls James O'Connor battling away for his team
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JAMES O’Connor, one of the stars of Saturday’s win against Colchester, has reacted with modesty to praise from Gary Megson and insisted that the team’s fortunes come first.

The midfield player wants the same sort of performance from the Owls against Tranmere tonight as the one that earned a first home League victory since mid-December.

The necessary ingredients will include effort and determination - qualities that he has never lacked in his time at the club.

But the 31-year-old never blows his own trumpet.

“I’m more interested in the team winning,” said O’Connor, who was praised by the manager for his “terrific” workrate and desire in his comeback to the side.

“I know it’s not very interesting, but, genuinely, if the team wins I have a nice weekend; if they don’t, I don’t. I’m not interested in personal accolades; I’m more interested in winning matches.

“We’ve won one game. It was nice and we had a nice weekend. But now we have another massive game. It’s important we show the same work-rate, attitude and desire and get three points.”

He says that he knows that the crowd once again will respond if they see what they like - as they did on Saturday.

“It was a great day for us. The players really enjoyed it, the fans really enjoyed it,” he said.

“Our crowd were fantastic. At half -time the ovation they gave us was incredible.

“Our fans have had a season where we’ve been relegated and then a season where they have had high expectations and ultimately the players haven’t delivered. I can understand the fans’ frustration.

“On Saturday they got right behind us; the players gave them something to shout about by scoring the early goal; the fans showed what an asset they are to the club.”

He expects Tranmere, four points behind the Owls, to prove stubborn opposition: “They’re going to try to make life difficult for us. I’m sure they’ll be thinking that if they can keep a clean sheet for the first 20-30 minutes, people will get frustrated and they’ll hope to capitalise on it.

“We need to do what we did on Saturday - play at a high tempo and give the crowd something to shout about.

“We need to stay focused. On Saturday the workrate and determination were there. We have good players; once that side of the game’s right, we should go on and win the game. We have very talented players; definitely the best squad in the division. But at times this season we haven’t performed.

“For us to be in the position we’re in is not something to be very proud of. There have been times when we have been really disappointed with performances.

“It’s important that we keep playing like we did on Saturday and keep winning games, then the manager, the players and the supporters will be happy.

O’Connor’s contract is up this summer but he is thinking about this season rather than what happens after it:

“What will be will be,” he said.