THERE is no doubting how useful loan players can be.
Kenwyne Jones is a classic example: his seven goals in seven games helped the Owls win promotion in 2005.
Now Ben Marshall has become a star in 2011.
But you always have to wonder what will happen after loans end.
Gary Megson has come up with an interesting observation in talking about potential uncertainty caused by having loan players when the January window looms.
“It’s normal for loan players to be looking around and finding out what’s happening from their point of view,” he said yesterday. “We have to cope with that.”
Megson is making a general observation rather than pointing a finger at any individuals.
Wednesday have been more reliant on loan men this season than their main promotion rivals.
I am sure he would much rather have all his own players - then only Wednesday are in charge of their immediate destiny.
Another Owls player comes back under the club’s control when Mark Beevers returns from a four-month loan at MK Dons after their game at Brentford tomorrow.
It is similar situation to that of Clinton Morrison after his spell at Dons. “Mark won’t be going anywhere else, because we need our players,” said the Owls boss.
“He went down there because he wasn’t getting a game. Now it’s the second half of the season coming up, things will change.
“Clinton has come back and he’s doing fine but he came back so we’re not doing another club a favour.”
The Beevers issue left Dons too facing an issue; they wanted to keep him but admitted they did not have the financial clout to do anything about it.
Megson has referred before to the challenge of being up against some big spenders in the promotion chase,
And he admitted yesterday to some “frustration”, saying: “I see one team [Charlton] running away with it who have brought in 21 players and spent hundreds of thousands of pounds; another team just above us [United] with a £15m wage bill who, in my view, shouldn’t have got relegated from the Championship, and another team just below us [Huddersfield] who have spent hundreds of thousands over the last few years trying to get where they are.
“There’s ourselves and MK Dons trying to hang on to those coat-tails.”
But Wednesday are right up there.
Megson says: “At Walsall we didn’t play particularly differently from how we’ve done before. It’s just the injury time periods that have cost us the points and led to a bit of worry about whether we’re a million miles away from it. I don’t think we are.
“We have players who are great in terms of the honesty and effort they put in.
“But we haven’t got what those other three clubs around us have got.
“That’s a long-term project but we’re always judged on short-term stuff, so we have to keep plugging away.”
Wednesday have not looked the finished article in the way they lost injury-time leads against Huddersfield and Walsall but margins can be so fine, and the lessons were there to be learned.