GARY Megson is looking to clear a major hurdle placed by an old pal when the Owls go to Hartlepool tomorrow.
Wednesday manager Megson and Pools boss Mick Wadsworth worked together at Norwich but clash at Victoria Park.
“I know Mick from my time at Norwich,” said the Owls chief. “I took him down there as assistant.
“He’s a really solid football person who has worked at a lot of clubs and has a lot of experience.
“He’s also got a team there that has a huge amount of experience, with a smattering of younger players.
“It will be a big test. To be perfectly honest, we’ve failed every one apart from Yeovil.”
Wednesday need to pull off another good away result to prove that the 3-2 victory at Huish Park was not a flash in the pan on their travels.
“It will be Hartlepool’s biggest game of the season and their biggest crowd” added Megson.
“They’ll be looking forward to it and they’ll really come at us; we have to be strong enough to see that off initially; away, we have been giving too many goals away and giving ourselves a mountain to climb.”
But the Owls will be encouraged by back-to-back wins against Yeovil and Exeter and by the scoring form of Gary Madine.
Megson pays little regard to the league positions of the two teams at this early stage of the season though knowing that a win would propel Wednesday above Pools, who are currently fourth.
“The season is over 46 games; you’ve got to be good in the middle and at the end,” he says. “Hopefully we can keep doing what we’re doing.”
Nor is he surprised by the fine start made by Wadsworth’s outfit: “There are some good teams in Division One. It’s still early days.
“Look at my old club, Bolton, they’re bottom of the league and can’t get a result, but they’ve had a horrendous run of fixtures.
“At that level, there are games you know you’ve got to win, and games where it’s a bonus if you get anything.
“It just shows how important it is at the start of the season to get one or two results, but it can be distorted by who you are playing against.
“It’s not a case of Hartlepool being a surprise, or about MK Dons, or ourselves or Sheffield United, or whoever. You have to play everybody.”
But Megson believes that Wednesday are broadly on the right lines and cites Madine as an example of the benefits of hard work.
workrate now is going hand in hand with his goals [nine in the striker’s last seven League games].
“Because of that workrate, he is getting into more dangerous positions, because you can’t get there without running. His goals in the main have come from the same place. Everyone notices when he gets into those positions and scores, but he is getting into those positions much more regularly.”
Megson was also pleased with the clean sheet against Exeter - ”our first since the opening day of the season.
“The back four and the goalkeeper will be pleased with that; it’s what they’re judged on.
“We’re also making chances; we’re not scoring the same type of goals all the time, and we’ve had different people getting on the scoresheet.
“But there will be no resting on laurels. If people think they’ve achieved something, they won’t attaining the right standards and they won’t be in the team. We have to keep using this as a stimulus to improve.”
Wednesday won 5-0 on their last visit to Victoria Park but none of the scorers that day is an Owls player today. The first one was an own goal by Paul Murray, Giles Coke is on loan at Bury, Neil Mellor and Marcus Tudgay have left the club and Clinton Morrison is on loan at MK Dons.
One to watch
Nobby Solano, aged 36, was signed on a free from Hull in the summer and has been a Pools hit. The Peruvian former Newcastle midfield man has scored two goals, both coming in the last two games, a 3-0 home win against Bury and 2-1 victory at Bournemouth.