OWLS: Sheffield Wednesday boss Megson backs players to avoid cup shock

Hard taskmaster: Boss Gary Megson.
Hard taskmaster: Boss Gary Megson.
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GARY Megson is encouraged by his players’ attitude as the Owls seek to avoid becoming the latest victims of cup giant-killers Aldershot.

Wednesday’s spirit and workrate have seen off many challenges from smaller clubs this season.

Megson sees no reason why complacency should creep in as his team kick off today’s Hillsborough clash as strong favourites to reach tomorrow’s third-round draw, though in the Carling Cup the Shots beat West Ham away and Carlisle and Rochdale at home.

“We have players with a good attitude,” said Megson. “There are no big-time Charlies who think they’re better than they are; there’s nobody who thinks he doesn’t have to put the work in.

“That’s a great starting point. You know you’re going to going to get an honest performance; it might not be good one, but it will not lack in effort, workrate or desire.

“Ninety five per cent of the time, we have been very good this season.”

If Megson picks Jermaine Johnson to replace ineligible Ben Marshall then the enigmatic winger will be expected to perform within the framework of team discipline.

It could be an occasion when JJ, after being left out of the Tranmere and Leyton Orient games, is given another chance against League Two opposition in the FA Cup - the same scenario as at Morecambe in the previous round.

With seven subs allowed, it seems quite likely that the Jamaica international will at least be on the bench.

Megson explained last week’s decision to leave him out: “We have six loan players, and we’ve had one or two coming back into training, and in the league you only have the five subs. One is always going to be a goalkeeper, one a defender. You can’t keep putting people in there, because we have choices.”

It is by no means certain that Johnson will start. But Wednesay, who have dropped only two points at home, will be confident whatever their line-up and despite the disruption caused by changes.

“It’s great to be at home but it will still be a difficult game regardless of who we play here,” added Megson.