Boss at odds with promotion forecast

Honest view: Gary Megson says his squad must be strengthened.    Picture Steve Ellis
Honest view: Gary Megson says his squad must be strengthened. Picture Steve Ellis

gary Megson believes that Sheffield Wednesday have work to do if they are to live up to their rating as second favourites in the League One title chase.

Bookmakers have them second only to last season’s play-off finalists, Huddersfield, in the betting.

But the Owls finished 15th in 2010-11, four players have been moved on this summer, and so far they have been able to sign only two.

Megson makes light of the ratings: “It doesn’t matter at all.

“You have to have a good squad, a good team, regardless.

“To be perfectly honest, if we are second favourites, people are basing that on the ground, the crowd and the size of the club, and the squad isn’t a second-favourite squad at all. Hopefully it will be, but not at the moment.”

Efforts to sign new players continue.

Chairman Milan Mandaric said earlier this year that the wage budget would be “sensible” and the club would not be throwing silly money around.

Megson said yesterday: “I have worked at clubs all my life where you do things not for football reasons but for financial ones. Some of that goes on here as well.

“You are a very fortunate manager if you can just do what you want.

“We’re not hamstrung but this club, I think, spent about £1.3 million in January. It increased the wage bill by about 25 per cent. It didn’t work. It went from fourth to 15th.

“That now is something we have to try and cope with; it’s something I have to get on with.

“You can’t spend it twice unless you’re fortunate, and we’re not in that position.”

After the exits of Tommy Spurr, Gary Teale, Darren Potter and Paul Heffernan, there is a possibility of the wage bill being reduced further, and helping to pave the way for new arrivals.

For Megson confirmed Charlton interest in Michael Morrison: “That’s been going on for quite a while. Chris Powell [Addicks boss] worked with him at Leicester. We’ll see if anything happens.”

The Owls manager was non-committal on Mark Reynolds, who is wanted on loan by his former club, Motherwell.

Both defenders are likely to be allowed to leave if Wedneday can recoup some of their outlay on them.

The Owls boss has again made clear his desire to land Neil Mellor. “I don’t think Neil’s wages are anything like what has been mentioned in the media,” he said.

And he is keen on Jose Semedo, who has rejected a new deal at Charlton: “We’re looking to try to get that done. It’s a case of whether we can.”

The Owls leave tomorrow for a week’s work in Austria and play Russian team Volga Novgorod there on Tuesday.