GARY Megson is set to make changes and select a new captain for tomorrow’s match at Rochdale.
On this first occasion that he has selected the starting team, the Owls manager is also set to be without Jermaine Johnson and is unlikely to hand Isaiah Osbourne a debut.
Megson rates Nicky Weaver as the best keeper in League One “by a street” but prefers to have an outfield player as captain.
He is not saying who will get the job but up to now James O’Connor has been deputy skipper and was given the armband by caretaker boss Rob Kelly for the MK Dons game when Weaver was out with a knee injury.
Experienced Clinton Morrison could also be among the contenders.
Johnson was taken ill last week and spent three days in hospital while tests were carried out. He remains an outpatient and it looks unlikely that he will play tomorrow.
Although Megson rates Osbourne, the midfield man’s lack of training during the last fortnight counts against him: “It might be a bit much to chuck him in.”
The Owls chief confirmed: “There will be changes. They didn’t perform very well [last week], so people will get an opportunity.”
He says that training has gone well during his first week in charge and all the players have been given a clean slate.
One of his aims will be tightening the team’s defending.
In view of that, fans will wonder whether he plans to change a back four that last week include two of January’s five new signings, Michael Morrison and Reda Johnson. A third new defender, Mark Reynolds, was on the bench.
Chairman Milan Mandaric funded last month’s deals in an effort to aid Alan Irvine’s cause.
But the new manager insists that he regards all the players in the same light and is under no obligation to pick players because the chairman paid for them:
“The players are all the same, whether they’ve only just arrived or been here five years. They won’t play just because it’s politically correct.”
Megson took off new striker Gary Madine at half-time last Saturday, along with winger Gary Teale, and sent on Neil Mellor and Paul Heffernan.
Mellor scored his 14th goal of the season and staked his claim for a starting role.
Megson has also made it clear that Heffernan, who rarely got a chance in Irvine’s reign, is in contention along with everyone else.
A spell of five successive away games could be seen as a big obstacle to the club’s hopes of a revival.
One of them is in the FA Cup, at Birmingham, and is of lesser concern than the League games.
But Megson is upbeat about the trips to Rochdale, Tranmere, Bournemouth and Carlisle: “We have a really difficult stretch of games.
“It’s a big ask. If we get a decent run in these away games, we’ll have a lot of our games on our own patch and we can get the momentum going.”