GARY Megson is calling on his Sheffield Wednesday players to follow David Prutton’s lead and chip in with goals.
Megson is concerned that a way must be found to compensate for the departure of Neil Mellor, and the Owls are striving to bring in two new forwards.
New midfield player Prutton hit a splendid first goal for the club in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Leeds.
But Megson admits: “The worry for everybody, including me, is the goals.
“Neil Mellor scored 20 last season; Tommy Miller got 11, many of them penalties.
“They don’t play for Wednesday any more; they have to be replaced.
“Hopefully we’ll get somebody who can take penalties as well as Tommy did, but it’s going to be a stretch getting somebody who can score 20-odd goals in a season.
“Other players, who have been here a while or who have just joined us, have got to chip in. The more match-winners you have, the better off you’re going to be.”
With Miller having been released, Prutton and fellow midfield signing Jose Semedo have been impressive in pre-season, and Prutton’s goal on Saturday meant the Owls led for a long period before being pegged back only by a late penalty.
But Megson would like his team to offer more threats to the opposition than those posed by Jermaine Johnson, whose running and shooting have taken the eye.
The search for signings goes on though the Owls boss has virtually given up on signing Mellor or Rochdale’s Chris O’Grady.
“We have to bring bodies in. Gary Madine took a bang on his elbow against Rotherham and was sore for the last 10 minutes [against Leeds]. We only had Mark Beevers and Mark Reynolds we could chuck on up front, and they’re left-side defenders.”
Clinton Morrison missed Saturday’s match because of a sore groin and thigh - “nothing major,” said Megson.
Lewis Buxton stayed off at half time with a sore hamstring - he had major hamstring trouble last season.
But Megson believes the new problem is minor: “Lewis thought he was going to carry on. But there wasn’t much point. He’s been a real plus in pre-season.
“It’s a bit of a worry, but we’ve got Jon Otsemobor as well, and Liam Palmer did good job at right back at Worksop.”
Otsemobor’s second Achilles tendon injection will be given today, as planned. Palmer (tonisillitis) and Gile Cokes (knee) have both returned to training.
Padraig Amond’s trial has been extended to a second week and he could figure again at Barnsley tomorrow.
n Match report: p44