GARY Megson is backing his former teammate, Peter Reid, to keep Plymouth up.
Assuming the Pilgrims stay alive in the face of severe financial problems, the Owls manager feels that his old club can avoid relegation despite the 10-point deduction imposed by the Football League which sent them to the bottom of League One.
Megson knows that Reid is a fighter - they were colleagues at Manchester City and midfield opponents in Wednesday v Everton clashes.
The 51-year-old Owls boss also has fond regard for Plymouth. He started his career there when his dad, Hillsborough legend Don, was manager of Bristol Rovers, and Gary made 78 appearances for the Home Park outfit.
“I really enjoyed Plymouth,” said Megson “It’s always been one of those clubs where people will say ‘if they can get it going they’ll be able to do this, they’ll be able to do that,’ because obviously there’s nothing further south of Plymouth.
“There’s a couple of smaller teams in Exeter and Torquay, and Bristol, before you get to the Midlands, so there’s a big area that’s interested in football. but it’s never got going, and to see it in the position it’s in now
Looking back, he added: “My dad tootled down to Bristol. I was playing for a local team as a kid, we played a Plymouth team, and a old scout who my dad knew rang up and said ‘I suppose he’ll be going with you’; my dad said ‘I prefer him to go somewhere else’ so I ended up down there.
“Myself and Martin Hodge came through and went to Everton. Mike Trusson came through and went to Sheffield United, Kevin Hodges as well. They benefited from a decent youth policy.”
Megson went on to play for Wednesday, Forest, Newcastle, Manchester City and Norwich.
“I played with Reidy in midfield for about 18 months at City; then he became their manager. We used to have some really good battles when we were doing okay down here and Everton were the best team in the country. He’s a great lad.”
Megson also joked: “It’s one those strange things where Reidy’s got a lot more dough than the club’s got; but you could probably say that when he was managing Man City!”
The Owls boss expects that Reid, aged 54, will use a seige mentality to spur on his team: “They have these severe financial problems but it will make them focus on playing and winning games. It will galvanise them: they went down to 10 men last week and won.
“It will bring everyone together, be like a wartime spirit. Unfortunately for us, that’s our first opposition back here.
“I think Plymouth will get out of the bottom four, even with the 10 points they had deducted, because geographically it’s a difficult place to go to, and this galvanising of the club because of the financial situation will help them, so hopefully they won’t go into administration and come to a complete halt and I do think they’ll get out of it.
“Although they’re down at the bottom of the table because some doughnuts have managed to mess it up financially, it’s nothing to do the the players and the staff. In reality they’re not a bottom-of-the-table team.
“They’ve got some good players who have played at a higher level; it will be difficult from our point of view.
“But I’m not one who extols the virtues of every team that we play. I’m more interested in what we do.”
Plymouth lost 10 points for issuing a ‘notice of intention’ to appoint an administrator.They have a board meeting today to decide whether to go into administration or go to court on Monday to try to get a 10-day extension.