Megson must shop on quality street

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Strange to say this when the corner seems to have been turned but the case for Sheffield Wednesday adding quality to their ranks is all the stronger for their rising health.

Strange to say this when the corner seems to have been turned but the case for Sheffield Wednesday adding quality to their ranks is all the stronger for their rising health.

Emerging as a competitive force in League One has given the Owls much to gain and less to lose as Gary Megson seeks further reinforcement in the loan market, backed by chairman Milan Mandaric.

For all the trademark grit implanted by their manager, Wednesday still look short of quality; quantity, too, at a time when they are stretched for numbers.

Of course, it is just wretched luck that new strikers Chris O’Grady and Ryan Lowe have both started on the wrong foot with injuries - and that Jermaine Johnson is still sidelined.

Whether those players will provide the necessary penetration remains a matter for conjecture after the pragmatic levels of recruitment at Hillsborough this summer.

For that, no-one can seriously blame Mandaric as the man who saved the club. If he is being careful to protect both Wednesday’s welfare and his own investment then who can point the finger at him for that , either? But, as a football man, it will probably be as clear to Mandaric as anybody else that the Owls are missing what is now commonly called the X factor; a killer pass, a dash of pace, the creativity to score regularly other than from set pieces.

They are the sort of attributes sought at every level. They don’t come cheap and in League One they are scarce. But at some stage this season Wednesday will need a player or two to set themselves clear of the rest.

Right now they look more workmanlike - and nothing wrong with that - than inspired, despite a winning home run and a great first away point of the season at Charlton ahead of Saturday’s Hillsborough game with another pacesetting team in MK Dons.

That may be as good as it can get for a little while. Megson is dragging the maximum from his squad in putting the Owls in a challenging position, hoping for a cleaner bill of health and a key signing or two.

The numbers and sums have been balanced by Mark Beevers and Giles Coke leaving on loan. What happens next, in terms of providing something extra, could be crucial.