Boxing Day build-up a family affair for Owls

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gary Megson is allowing his players to spend Christmas night with their families on the eve of their match at Walsall.

He has in the past taken teams away to a hotel but believes that a stay at home can be a better way to prepare.

He has also mapped out a schedule that tells players what they will be doing right up to the January 8 match against West Ham.

“They know exactly when they’re in and when they’re off,” said Megson, a stickler for thorough preparation.

“When they’re in, they’re expected to work hard, and when they’re off I expect them to do the right things.

“This is the first time for a while that I haven’t taken a team away on Christmas night, and it’s because I think this will be more of an advantage to us.

“We’ll train properly on Saturday morning; we’ll be in early on Christmas Day morning and train.”

Players will then depart to their families. For those whose homes are further south than Sheffield, instead of travelling on the team bus they will be allowed to go directly to a gathering at a Walsall hotel on Boxing Day.

“We will have people scattered about the country to a certain extent,” said Megson, “because that’s the way football is these days; they’ll turn up at Walsall at the hotel.

“We’re trying to get things done not to just make life easier for the players but in terms of preparation and doing the right things from the club’s point of view and theirs.

“Once [at another club] we stayed overnight at a hotel and it was all parties; you’re stuck in a room, it’s quiet and the other room’s bouncing and there are streamers and balloons and all that, it’s just not the right atmopshere.

“We’ll get them at home, trust them to do the right things, and we’ve got a good group so I’m quite comfortable with that.”