WEDNESDAY players have had the error of last Saturday’s ways demonstrated to them as they bid to tighten up at Walsall on Boxing Day.
In training yesterday Gary Megson showed how it should have been done if they were to prevent Huddersfield scoring a last-gasp equaliser.
He also also warned that while mistakes can be made once, a repeat of the same profound sort will not be acceptable.
Megson dubs the Terriers’ goal in the sixth minute of stoppage time “ridiculous”.
The Owls manager wants more of the defensive steel that had seen the team concede only two goals in six games before last week’s amazing 4-4 draw.
Huddersfield’s final goal came when Wednesday were sliced open through the middle as the ball travelled from the opposition’s keeper to the edge of their own penalty area.
“We just made a right cock-up,” said Megson. “We’ve spoken about it in training.
“We set things up how they should have been set up with a minute to go, and which would have meant us not conceding a goal like that. You have to keep concentrating.
“We also set things up how it was on the day. It was chalk and cheese. We had people spread all over Hillsborough,
and in the areas where you could be 100 per cent certain the ball was going to go we had nobody.
“It was a ridicuous goal. We have spoken about it: you can make these mistakes but don’t do it twice.”
Megson said last
Saturday that the Owls should have had a barrier of a back four protected by five across midfield.
But keeping Walsall out is not the limit of the the club’s ambitions.
On form at home and away, they have passed tricky tests at Tranmere and Oldham in the last two away games and have proved to be an attacking force wherever they play.
Defensive cover is on hand, however, with Miguel Llera able to join the 16 after being the odd one out of six loan players, when only five could be included.
Stephen Bywater’s departure to Derby is
likely to mean Llera stepping up to the bench, having made a sound debut against Leyton Orient when Sanchez Watt was omitted.
Megson is again set to choose between Watt - who has played the last two games - and Ryan Lowe for the place up front alongside Chris O’Grady.
The manager has already decided who will replace Bywater; he is not telling but says he would feel comfortable whether it was Nicky Weaver or Richard O’Donnell. Weaver’s long lay-off and O’Donnell’s good form in recent games could be the key factors.
Llera, whose loan from Blackpool runs out next month, has been wanting to earn a full Hillsborough contract. The re-signing of Danny Batth may well mean that his stay turns out to have been short-term - but Megson will cross that bridge when he comes to it.
The Owls boss enthuses about Batth and points out that his challenge on Huddersfield left-back Gary Naysmith led to Reda Johnson’s goal last week,
“Danny is a still a young lad but he’s a great character,” said Megson.
One to watch
Jon Macken is a familiar figure: an experienced striker who has played for Crystal Palace, Preston, Manchester City, Ipswich, Barnsley and Derby. The 34-year-old, who is under contract to Walsall until the summer, scored in the 1-1 draw with Wednesday at the Bescot Stadium in April.
Wednesday are unbeaten in their last six league and cup games against Walsall. The last defeat was 1-0 at the Bescot Stadium in September, 2002, when Lloyd Owusu (now at Barnet) made his full debut for the Owls.