DON’T judge Gary Megson until he assembles a Sheffield Wednesday team in his own image.
That is the verdict of former Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper and manager Chris Turner.
The 52-year-old reckons Megson has the managerial pedigree to arrest the club’s slide and turn them into serious promotion contenders in League One, as long as he is backed in the transfer market in the summer.
Turner told The Star: “The difficulty for Gary will be getting the right players in that he would like as quickly as he likes. He’s had to inherit the last manager’s players and the players who were signed in January.
“It is difficult until you get your own players in and players in with the right values that you want. Until you do, you are banging your head against a brick wall. I can imagine that Gary has done that many a time in the last two months because you are having to work with players who are not his natural players.”
Turner, who will watch from the stands on Saturday as his two old clubs collide at Hillsborough, feels it will not be a straightforward task for Megson to reduce the size of his Wednesday squad.
“It is hard trying to move players on who are under contract,” he said. “Players at Wednesday will be on a significant amount of money compared to other players in the league.
“I’m sure Gary has an idea of the areas he would like to strengthen and the players who he wants to bring in but it is a question of how many he is allowed to sign.
“The new chairman (Milan Mandaric) will expect the team to be up there challenging next year and Gary will know that. But Gary knows how difficult the situation is and what is required.”
It was Turner who fronted an unsuccessful takeover bid to buy Wednesday in September. He is currently out of work and looking to get back into management. Turner has vowed to never dabble in the business side of football again, having “got let down very badly” by the Middle East oil investors interested in purchasing the Owls.
Turner has warned Wednesday not to take Pools, who are four points and three places above Megson’s side in the table, lightly tomorrow.
He said: “Hartlepool are where everyone would have expected them to be.
“Last season, they finished 17th and this season they will probably finish between 12th and 17th. It is about as high as the club can possibly go without going out and splashing the cash.
“It is a fantastic achievement for them to be in League One and it will be the fourth season on the trot they have stayed in it.
“Whereas the expectation levels are massive at Wednesday, there isn’t as much pressure on Hartlepool to get promotion or in the play-offs. Hartlepool are quite capable of beating anyone on their day so I won’t be surprised if they get a result on Saturday.”