Ben is new Owls wide boy

Talented: Ben Marshall looks set for a debut tomorrow against Notts County and Gary Megson hopes he can hit the ground running.
Talented: Ben Marshall looks set for a debut tomorrow against Notts County and Gary Megson hopes he can hit the ground running.
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LOAN signing Ben Marshall is the last-but-one piece in the Wednesday signing jigsaw.

Gary Megson has confirmed that the 19-year-old from Stoke is earmarked for the wide role he has been looking to fill.

Although Marshall has said he can play up front, Megson sees him as a winger.

That means that the only vacancy left in the squad as it stands is a striker spot.

“Ben is a talented lad,” said Megson. “We’ve got him because of my friendship with Tony Pulis.

“He was on loan at Carlisle last season; I spoke to Tony when we played the pre-season game against Stoke.

“He said there were a couple of Championship clubs showing interest in him, so I said ‘with all due respect, if he comes to play for Sheffield Wednesday and he can do it, then you’ll know a lot more for what you need at Stoke.

“They are a big club, with massive support, real passion and lots of expectation - similar to this club except that they play in red and white and we play in blue and white.

“Ben is here until January. Then we’ll re-assess it. and hopefully he will have done well.”

Marshall looks set for a debut against Notts County.

Megson added: “We were really keen to get him here. He broke his leg in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final but he’s over that, and mentally he’s over it. Hopefully he can hit the ground running.

“He’s two-footed, a great crosser, has good touch, and gets a goal when the ball comes in from the opposite side. He has good quality and his workrate is high. He can play wide right or wide left.”

Nicky Weaver is fit after missing the 2-1 defeat at Bury but Rob Jones is a doubt.

Megson said: “We didn’t make a fuss - we should have done: it was an elbow off the ball; his nose was not just broken, it was shattered. There’s no place in football for that.

“He’ll want to play, knowing him, but it’s a case of whether he can or not.”

If the captain is out, then in view of Megson’s criticism of his replacement at Bury, Reda Johnson, Mark Beevers could be recalled.

Megson, after viewing the game again on DVD, sympathises with Johnson over the goal that was disallowed for a foul on the keeper just before half time when it was 2-0: “It was an absolute crime. All Reda did was jump and head the ball into the net.”

Megson spent time in training yesterday on encouraging the team to pass the ball through midfield. He also had a long discussion, sitting on the Middlewood pitch, with Jose Semedo and David Prutton, after most of the other players had finished.

The Owls boss explained: “I was telling them I brought them here to sit in the middle of the park and pass it. At Bury, they didn’t get the opportunity to shine like they can, because we didn’t play.

“They have to look for the ball, and if they find themselves being by-passed with the ball being smacked up to Gary Madine, they have to say something. There are times when you have to just clear your lines - but we have to play more.

“It’s not just them: I’ve spoken to other people as well.”

Megson says that his comment at Bury that he felt he was coming under pressure was born of frustration over the game and his view that impatience is rife in football.

“You lose one game and there are murmurings...two games - it used to be five or six. Now it’s entirely different. I can’t do anything about it. That’s the profession I want to be in. I’ve had success in it.

“I know what’s right and what’s wrong; I’m also experienced and know what the score is.

“I was thinking over the weekend whether I should be so honest. People tell me I shouldn’t. Sometimes it gets me into trouble. I prefer to say what’s on my mind.”

He accepts that everyone has an opinion: “What I found difficult to accept was when I was at Bolton and we won 4-1 at Sunderland and the first caller on the radio was having a go at me for not keeping a clean sheet!”


The Teams

OWLS (possible): Weaver; Buxton, Batth, R Jones or Beevers, Bennett; Sedgwick, Semedo, Prutton, Marshall; Lines; Madine. (4-4-1-1)

MAGPIES (possible): Nelson; Kelly, Pearce, Edwards, Sheehan; Bencherif; Westcarr, Bishop, Judge, J Hughes; L Hughes. (4-1-4-1)

The Referee

Carl Boyeson (Hull): A central heating technician who started refereeing in the Hull Sunday League in 1992, he has had one game this season, Blackpool’s 2-1 home win against Peterborough on Sunday.