Owls: Sheffield Wednesday boss Megson hits back over 14-0 defeat

Player shortage: Gary Megson could have called the match off.
Player shortage: Gary Megson could have called the match off.
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GARY Megson believes that Sheffield Wednesday have had goodwill flung back in their face over the 14-0 match at Alfreton Town.

The Owls could have called off the fixture because of their shortage of players.

They fulfilled it by fielding a youth team and were allowing Town to keep all the gate money - the same arrangement that applied for previous non-first-team friendlies against Sheffield-area sides.

But Megson was unhappy with unsympathetic comments from the Alfreton camp in the game’s aftermath.

He told The Star: “We have a lot of very big problems at Sheffield Wednesday which have built up over 15 years.

“The only way to rectify them is by getting a first team that’s capable of winning games and drags everything else up with it.

“On Saturday we drew with Stoke and were excellent against a team who had £95m worth of players. Yet we’re talking about a ridiculous defeat on Sunday.

“I was going to apologise to the people at Alfreton, We should have a team capable of not being beaten 14-0, but everyone knows that we are short of players, and after Saturday’s game we had two more players with knocks.

“I had a choice: either call the Alfreton game off, or send the youth team.

“There’s been a lot of gum-flapping by their manager [Nicky Law] and chairman [Wayne Bradley]. It was disappointing to hear that.

“They didn’t mention anything about us giving them all the gate money, like we’ve done with other friendlies, against neighbouring teams; I don’t know if there’s another professional club in the country that does that. Yet we were criticised for what we did.”

Alfreton chairman Wayne Bradley has said: “Someone got it awfully wrong in underestimating the calibre of our team. It wasn’t the test we were looking for.

“I’m totally appreciative that Wednesday have a small squad but I don’t think there was a communication that suggested they would play the team that they did.”

Wednesday had made their policy clear by fielding youthful line-ups against Stocksbridge, Sheffield FC and Hallam in other friendlies on the day after first-team matches.

Megson admits that Rochdale’s Chris O’Grady, one of his summer targets, will be a “big threat” at Hillsborough today if he plays, after nursing a heel injury.

“He’s a big, strong lad, hard-working, and with a good goalscoring record,” said Megson.still looking for strikers.