GARY Megson believes that today’s clash with Southampton could bring out the best in his stuttering Owls team.
This season Wednesday have been used to facing dangerous challenges from “lesser” clubs who raise their game and are determined to cause an upset.
But a high-profile, televised tussle with promotion-chasers could provide an extra incentive.
The Owls boss said: “Human beings are all the same; they want to do well when there are lot of people watching.
“The audience will be big for this one because it’s on television.
“For the players who get into the Premier League, this sort of spotlight is normal. It’s not so normal in League One; it’s an opportunity to show what they can do.”
Saints have won 10 at home, drawn four and lost only three.
“They’s got a decent home record,” acknowledged Megson.
“They seem to have a production line there, with their youth policy. Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale started there, and players such as Adam Lallana and Alex Chamberlain have started to attract a great deal of attention.”
But he feels that the Owls have the capability to cause problems for fourth-placed Saints.
“They’re not all singing, all dancing; nobody is in this division. We have to concentrate on what we do, take the game to them, and make sure they have to match the workrate that we put in.
“We can do it. This might be a bit different.
“It’s a nice ground (not as good as ours), the crowd will be big (not as good as ours), so we’re not going to one of the smaller places in League One, and we have to cope with that rather than some of the things we have been struggling to cope with recently.”
Wednesday are keen to bounce back from the home defeats by Notts County and Peterborough.
They will also take encouragement from their last three away displays: a 0-0 draw against Bournemouth, 1-0 win at Carlisle and 3-2 victory at Oldham.
New loan centre-half Danny Batth, from Wolves, said: “Southampton is one of the biggest games of the season. They’re doing well. We need to get about them.
“I’ve had a loan spell at Colchester, so I’m familiar with this division and the job that needs to be done.”
Saints 17-year-old Alex Chamberlain, son of former Wednesday winger Mark Chamberlain, has been named in the England Under-19 squad for a friendly in Holland on March 29, ahead of this summer’s European Under-19 Championships.