Gary Megson has urged his Owls to “wise up” after seeing Charlton strangle last week’s big game at Hillsborough in a headlock of timewasting.
Sheffield Wednesday’s boss today also explains the touchline spats which punctuated the 1-0 defeat, accusing the Charlton bench of trying to get some of his players sent off.
“But I don’t want this to sound like sour grapes - Charlton are a good side,” insists Megson, who tolerated the on-field gamesmanship a little more than some of the leaders’ attitudes off it.
Wednesday’s first home loss was inflicted by a strong, assured side who also break with pace and, by the Owls manager’s admission, won with a “great free-kick” from Johnnie Jackson.
However, Megson feels his players submitted too meekly to the timewasting that enraged most of a large crowd who vented their spleen on the referee as much as Chris Powell’s side.
“We need to be cuter and more streetwise,” he told the Telegraph. “As for the shenanigans on the sidelines, there were certain things that got up my hooter.
“I don’t like players shouting for opposition players to be sent off and I certainly won’t accept it from the bench.”
Moving to the pitch itself, Megson added: “There was timewasting and it’s not illegal. But I didn’t think it was the referee’s finest hour. We’ve timed how long the Charlton keeper (Ben Hamer) had the ball and it totalled 10 minutes and 38 seconds. There were delays at things like goalkicks right over the course of the game. That is a ridiculous amount. A couple of times the keeper came out remonstrating with the ref. We heard that one of the things Charlton were concerned about with us was the high tempo of our game. Well, they took the tempo right out of it.
“And we had the wool pulled over our eyes. There were things we didn’t point out to the referee. We have honest players and that is the way I want them to be.
“But I don’t want us to be an easy touch, either. There were things that needed pointing out. There is black and white in the game but there are grey areas, too.”
Meanwhile, prospects of bringing back Ben Marshall on loan remain bleak at this stage as the Owls head into a home game with Huddersfield needing a flank impact from elsewhere. Latest recruit Mike Jones, who started menacingly against Charlton and faded, can offer a threat and it remains to be seen if Jermaine Johnson will get another chance.
Megson insists there was nothing ominous about Johnson not being involved last week. Mark Beevers can join either of two League One clubs - believed to be Chesterfield and Colchester - if wage terms, so far problematic, can be agreed.