GARY Megson has praised Wednesday fans as “diamonds” shining in the gloom of what he perceives as a possible low point in the club’s history.
The home crowd gave the team superb second-half backing as the Owls attempted a fightback after going 3-0 down to Peterborough.
He thinks that there are no grounds for the theory that players could be inhibited by playing at Hillsborough.
“All this cobblers that we go on about, that it’s difficult at Hillsborough, and will it be ok to go and play away from home because we’ve won our last two away, it’s rubbish, it really is, because our supporters are absolute diamonds,” said Megson.
“I’ve said to some of the staff that I’ve been in the Premier League with my last club [Bolton], drawing 2-2 and getting absolutely pelted.”
Megson, determined to try to engineer a climb up the table from the current 16th place, added: “I would argue that this place is probably at its lowest ebb in its history. I don’t know, but it wouldn’t be far off, in terms of the position it’s in.
“At Southampton, we’ve got to have a performance.
“There’s got to be a line drawn at this club. What’s going on at the moment just is not acceptable.”
He believes that some of the players are not meeting basic demands, and he outlined the preparation for the Peterborough game: “It maybe is a bit simplistic, but we put the team up, set pieces, all that type of stuff, and just said what we’re looking for, on one page, was running, workrate, tempo, effort and desire.
“On the next page, competing, battling, pride, honesty, desire. That’s all it’s about. I watch us and we can pass and we can play, but the the opposition aren’t going to just stand off you; we’ve got to match what they’re doing.”
He believes Posh’s 27-goal striker Craig Mackail-Smith, wanted by Norwich, shows the right example: “I’m a big admirer of his; I don’t want to be rude but he hasn’t got the best touch in the world; he’s not going to go past two or or three people at a time, but in terms of just effort and desire - and he’s got pace and workrate - that’s why the bigger clubs are looking at hime.
“That’s got to be your starting point, Here, it’s not. We’ve got to get that.
“People keep telling me what they can do; I don’t see it and I’ve never been one for tippy-tappy stuff. People have got to show a lot more desire and drive.
“Their first goal... we’ve got to win the ball, not hope we win it. If not, get our body in the way and make sure they don’t get that opportunity.
“There were five goals. I would argue that ours probably was the best. Theirs have to be seen to be believed.”
Note: In 1976 Wednesday avoided relegation to the old Fourth Divison in the last match.