Megson orders Owls players on to the weights to beef up

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GARY Megson is looking for his Owls team to come on strong - by doing extra work in the gym.

His plans for the future include sessions to increase players’ body strength.

The Owls manager first learned the benefits of super fitness when he played under Howard Wilkinson at Hillsborough.

“There are players here who don’t do enough weights,” Megson told The Star.

“I find it strange. There are people paying a lot of money to join gyms around Sheffield to do weights and fitness; our lot have got it for nowt and some are not doing it. That’s got to change.

“You can always keep yourself in better condition or make more of the body you’ve got.

“There are some here who do it regularly, which is good, but there are some who come in last minute then look to get away too quickly.

“The standards have got to change right across the board.”

Plans to appoint an additional fitness coach are likely to be put into operation in the summer.

Gary Madine has already spoken of his desire to improve his upper-body strength, and Megson says: “He’s 20. Although he’s got a certain form, he can get more power and if he does that’s another string to his bow.”

The Owls boss added: “When I played, I saw the benefits of getting really, really fit.

“I’ve spoken to Howard Wilkinson about it; it was the most difficult fitness regime I’ve ever known. Yet, as I said to Howard, look back at the number of players in that team who played longer than you would expect.

“Gary Shelton played until he was 39-40; lots us played past 35. I could have gone on further but was told to get on to the coaching side.

“It’s a big plus if you can run faster and longer than the opposition, and if you have the ability as well then you start to get something.”

“We all have the body that God gave us but you can make the most of it. You might not come out looking like Popeye, but you will get stronger and stronger and feel the benefits.

“I’m not sure whether some of our players know where the gym is, but they will do.”

But Megson’s current priority is to repeat the recent away form in tomorrow’s home game against Notts County.

“Hillsborough has a fantastic crowd and a fantastic atmosphere,” he said. “We have to utilise it a lot better, get results and start moving forward.”