Canaries’ success shows why Megson can aim high

Looking back: Milan Mandaric takes control at Hillsborough
Looking back: Milan Mandaric takes control at Hillsborough
Share this article
Have your say

WE sometimes have a laugh in the office about stories that we wish we could write just for a change.

It would be nice to do one about someone saying he’s not taking one game at a time but is looking at another one a few weeks hence.

Or someone saying after a measure of success: “We’re getting carried away ... our feet are off the ground.”

Or a new signing saying: “The lads are rubbish, I don’t like the facilities, and I’m not impressed by the manager.”

But those sort of things will never be written, because, joking aside, a thread of commonsense runs through football, and themes are oft-repeated and become familiar because they are true.

Take the Owls’ position.

Everything looks rosy: they are second in the table after an impressive run and there are very realistic hopes of promotion.

But they cannot afford to think that the job is anywhere near done, when there are 26 games to go.

One year ago they were on a high.

The team had beaten Bristol Rovers 6-2 at Hillsborough and were second in the table, and three days later Milan Mandaric’s much-needed takeover was rubber-stamped at an extraordinary meeting of shareholders.

But only two points were gleaned from the next six league games - including a 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield - and it spelt a side down the table and the end for Alan Irvine.

None of that is any cause for the Owls to get nervous now.

Good sides keep going. Wednesday are by no means faint hearts; the spirit in the camp seems to be excellent, and the squad has quality and strength.

It is to be hoped that Gary Megson’s transfer-market wishes are granted next month and the squad is not weakened.

This weekend’s fixtures offer an example of how suddenly a dip in results or form could affect the table.

If Wednesday should happen to lose to Huddersfield, then there is a fair chance they will be pushed down to third. MK Dons are at home to Preston and are three points behind the Owls with a superior goal difference.

Wednesday are 10 points clear of seventh place and I still think they will qualify for the play-offs, at least, but automatic promotion has to be the main goal.

All the talk about tomorrow’s Hillsborough encounter being a big game is not only accurate in the current context but also a reminder of how far the Owls have sunk, compared with the 90s.

It’s Huddersfield at home - not Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool etc.

But whenever I see Norwich on Match of the Day it reminds me that two years ago the Canaries were where roughly where Wednesday are now.

Further research shows that, to be precise, they were third, and facing a home game against Huddersfield. They won it 3-0, went on a run of eight successive league wins, and ended up as champions. Now there’s an act to follow.

Finally, in case anybody is wondering why the admirable Jose Semedo got only six in Monday’s match verdict, well it wasn’t intended - it was those technical gremlins again. I gave him seven.