Reda stand-in challenged to show his true worth

Chance to shine: Defender Julian Bennett
Chance to shine: Defender Julian Bennett
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JULIAN Bennett is being challenged by Gary Megson to show fans his capabilities as he fills the gap left by Reda Johnson.

The left-back was signed by the Owls manager in the summer but lost his place and in recent months has been eclipsed by Johnson.

The two-match suspension of Johnson gives Bennett a chance at Exeter tomorrow.

Both were in the team against Blackpool but Johnson played mostly as a defensive midfield man until he was taken off at half-time.

“I signed Julian and he was terrific in pre-season and the first game of the season,” said Megson.

“He’s not kicked on, but he’s got that opportunity now.

“He has to make sure he shows Wednesdayites what he is capable of, and not in fits and starts.

“You join this club to win games and be successful: that goes for everybody.”

Megson has shown that he is prepared to make changes if he believes someone is not doing his stuff.

Gary Madine was taken off early in the second half of the Yeovil game last Saturday.

“He got the hump because I brought him off; these things don’t bother me too much,” said the Owls manager.

“When you go out there you work hard, which he did; you have to play well. When we go down to Exeter we’ll have a good starting 11; we’ll also have five very good subs.”

The message from Megson is clear: that places have to be earned.

He praised Bennett for his performance in last Tuesday’s FA Cup replay and pointed out that Johnson has missed games before and the team have managed without him.

“It didn’t prove such a big loss; there have been times where there’s been a worry when so and so’s not been playing, but someone else has gone in and done well,” he said. “That’s been going on right through the season.

“Julian went back in at left-back on Tuesday and had one of his best games for a long time.”

Megson will revert to a more usual line-up after making seven changes for the cup replay and has already confirmed that Jermaine Johnson will start.

The winger was among the players who were rested for the Blackpool game. while Miguel Llera, Mike Jones and John Bostock were cup-tied and now come back under consideration for the trip to St James Park.