Owls: It’s make or break

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ONE simple, forthright sentence sets the tone and the agenda for Sheffield Wednesday this season.

ONE simple, forthright sentence sets the tone and the agenda for Sheffield Wednesday this season.

“I won’t tolerate anything less than success.”

Those seven words belong to owner Milan Mandaric, uttered ominously on these pages even before the end of last season.

It’s not exactly promotion or bust for the Owls. Thanks to Mandaric, success and survival as a business no longer go hand in hand.

But the demands on the management are as exacting as ever. And, as the club’s saviour, no-one can dispute Mandaric’s entitlement to make them.

So it all adds up to a make-or-break nine months for Gary Megson as he bursts with desire to revive his beloved Owls.

Nine months? Some reckon you can make that nine weeks - or less - if Wednesday suffer a poor start. Then again, Mandaric has set equally exacting standards for himself in suggesting he will be very self-critical if they fall short.

And it could be argued that the club is more on trial than Megson; he, after all, is a manager of Championship and Premier League pedigree. He’s Mandaric’s choice, too, and doesn’t have a fixed deadline. Yet the possible penalty for falling behind schedule leaves little to the imagination.

Mandaric is not exactly a stranger to changing managers and the broader view would be that Megson has to secure a return to the Championship in order to savour his longer-term ambitons.

See this week’s Telegraph for the full story.