FRUSTRATED boss Gary Megson has slammed “pansy-like” challenges and is demanding a far better response as Sheffield Wednesday face up to two important home matches which offer the opportunity to virtually end the relegation fears now worrying their followers.
“We’ve got to have a lot more than we’re getting,” said the Owls boss.
“Every single player since I’ve been here has now played. People should want to play at this place, not NOT want to play here. It’s too simple to say it’s difficult playing at Hillsborough. It’s not.
“We’ve got one or two who are ducking it, who are costing us goals by not winning tackles they should win. Then other people from the outside start looking at the mistakes that cost us a goal rather than the root cause.”
He touched on Brentford’s second goal in the 3-1 defeat on Tuesday.
“We got caught for the second goal, instead of just shifting it, but again the cause didn’t start there; there had been two really pansy-like challenges before it got to that point,” he said.
“It makes you angry the ball’s there to be won, you’ve got to win it, not hopefully win it. It happens time and time again. It’s not just one player. It happens with a few. I don’t see these things happening against us.
“Gary Madine’s playing up there. He gets, not fouled, but he really gets kicked from pillar to post. He really has to compete and [yet] we’re missing challenges in the middle of the park that are really not acceptable.
“I don’t want people kicking but we’ve got win a lot more possession than we do.”
He referred to a “lack of drive and enthusiasm” and the way it seems more apparent at home than away.
“We play differently away, five in the middle of the park and try to get forward from there and the results we’ve had in the main have been from soaking it up. We’ve managed to score in near enough every instance, playing five, and then soaked it up.
“Whether we can do those things at Hillsborough ... we should be playing with a lot more fluency.
“I just look at us and everything looks slow and laboured, and yet in training that’s the last thing that we do. We try to do everything at tempo and we try to do everything so that we have got penetration.
“But you could just feel it when we kicked off against Brentford. The only voice I could hear was my own big mush.
“There was nothing on the pitch. That just can’t happen.
“At half-time one or two of the coaching staff were saying: ‘This is Sheffield Wednesday.’ And the response isn’t what we would hope for.”
Wednesday, at home to Colchester next, wait on central defender Rob Jones who went off groggy after a blow to the head.