wednesday have a outside chance of going second in League One tomorrow.
They have to win at Tranmere while Huddersfield, two points above them and with a superior goal difference, unexpectedly lose at home to Notts County.
If in addition leaders Charlton, currently seven points clear of Wednesday, were to slip up at Brentford, then that would further fuel Gary Megson’s ambition to be the division’s top dog.
But the Owls manager already feels that his team are capable of beating anybody, of getting even better, and that their long-term fate is in their own hands rather than reliant on what other sides do.
Megson is also a realist who does not crow about what has been achieved so far by his new-look team.
“We’re doing all right,” he says. “But we can get better in many ways.
“We work to try to improve the things we are maybe not so good at, and to keep ticking over in what we are good at.
“What we do have are the human qualities: They’re all honest, all work hard, all have a great desire, and all want the best for Sheffield Wednesday, which is a big plus for us all.
“It’s nice to be doing really well and to be top of the pile but the important time to be top is after the final game of the season.
“But I’d certainly swap with Charlton. In my view, trying to stay there is easier than trying to catch up. But that’s the task we face.”
When asked whom he perceives to be the Owls’ biggest threats, he replies, with a smile: “Sheffield Wednesday!”
“I tell our players all the time that there are two results: Sheffield Wednesday will win it, or Sheffield Wednesday will lose it. The opposition won’t be able to do it. It is our
selves who are the most important thing,” he said.
Megson takes that philosophy into tomorrow’s match, with the club also buoyed by a cup win, in which Jose Semedo, who has set his sights on promotion, gave a star display to follow his goal at Wycombe in the last away League game.
“Tranmere on their own patch are a real problem,” said Megson. “They have some good, experienced players. But we are well capable of beating anybody in this division. I don’t go anywhere thinking ‘we’re really going to struggle today’.
“Tranmere have had some good results. Les Parry is a character. I’ve known him for a long time.
“Mostly he was a physio, but not a physio like some of the ones you see getting into the game today without any football background. He certainly had that. He knows his stuff. Tranmere wouldn’t have given him the manager’s job if they didn’t think he could do it.
“There are different ways to become a manager. Look at Nigel Adkins, doing a brilliant job at Southampton, yet he was the physio at Scunthorpe before he became manager there.”
Parry said: “I think it’ll be a really good, intense battle on Saturday.
“Sheffield Wednesday’s visit here last season was one of the highlights, but the fixture away was one of the low points.
“I think we thoroughly deserved to win the game here. Gary Megson had not long taken over and I think he recognised what a good performance it was by us because he said some nice things after the game.
“Wednesday were not winning many games at the time and I think Gary will be enjoying not getting the stick from the fans now they are doing well.”
Parry also revealed that he made a summer bid for striker Ryan Lowe, who later joined the Owls from Bury for £100,000:
“I phoned Bury and made an an offer which was nowhere near what they were looking for,” he said.
Teams and ref
TRANMERE (possible): Williams; Raven, Taylor, Goodison, Buchanan; Akins, Weir, Welsh, Robinson; Baxter; Showunmi (4-4-1-1)
OWLS (possible): Bywater; Buxton, Batth, R Jones, R Johnson; O’Connor, Lines, Semedo, Marshall; O’Grady, Madine (4-4-2)
Roger East (Wiltshire): Has refereed eight Championship games this season. In a total of 19 matches, he has shown four red cards and 53 yellows. Took charge of the Owls’ 1-0 defeat at Charlton just over a year ago.
One to watch
Enoch Showunmi is likely to return after recovering from injury and being on the bench for the last two games. A player playing against his old club is always fired up, and the big striker is certain to aim for repeating his goal against the Owls at Tranmere last season.
Wednesday have not won in eight games at Tranmere since they scored a 4-1 victory there on January 14, 1939, in the old Second Division, with goals from Harry Millership, Allenby Driver and Idris Lewis, 2. The Owls finished third that season and Tranmere bottom.