U’ll have to wait: Wednesday keep rivals guessing

Colchester Utd v Owls.....GOAL.....Owls Neil Mellor hits home the equalising goal
Colchester Utd v Owls.....GOAL.....Owls Neil Mellor hits home the equalising goal
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WHO would have thought when Neil Mellor clinched a point in the first away game at Colchester that this season would have been become such an unhappy one for the Owls?

Hopes of promotion were high and it was to be the first of 14 goals that made the on-loan striker top scorer.

The Owls have slipped from fifth, after that Colchester game, to 17th, their lowest position of the season.

Many players have had fluctuating fortunes in the last seven months and the team have stuttered, especially at Hillsborough.

Mellor is just an example. His last goal was against MK Dons in Megson’s first game as manager, and he was not even on the bench for the midweek game against Brentford.

Jermaine Johnson’s fortunes, however, took an upward twist. He must be challenging for a start after being regarded by Megson as the one positive in the 3-1 defeat by the Bees, when he look lively as a sub.

Megson points out that he has given opportunities to every player and says that when people do well they stay in the side.

As the Owls get set to face the return fixture against the U’s tomorrow, Megson as usual is keeping the opposition guessing about his line-up - as fans ponder whether or not there will be more changes to a continually changing line-up.

One factor in the equation is that the club have six loan players and only five are allowed in the match squad.

Another is the question of the formation. Megson against faces a dilemma: 4-5-1, which succeeded at Dagenham, or 4-4-2, which failed on Tuesday yet possibly offers the best chance of hitting a creative seam at home if players perform well enough?

Megson confirmed: “Neil wasn’t involved the other day because you can only have five loan players in the 18.

“We thought it best to have a keeper on the bench [Lee Nicholls], we’ve got the two centre-halves [on loan Rob Jones and Danny Batth], and Isaiah Osbourne and Joey O’Brien [on loan midfield men] were playing.

“When a club’s not doing well, everybody starts looking around and focusing on the ones who aren’t in the team and thinking they can do this or that.

“The reality is that everybody has had opportunities.”

Reda Johnson is back in the squad after being on duty for Benin’s 2-1 defeat by Ivory Coast in Ghana on Sunday, when Didier Drogba scored two.

The defender got back on Tuesday afternoon.

Megson admits that he has been making changes, as Alan Irvine did before him, in trying to find a winning blend, and says it is easier to discuss their effectiveness with the benefit of hindsight.

“The manager doesn’t have that,” he said.