Megson praises new contract trio for loyalty to Owls as O’Connor’s wages are reduced while Johnson and Buxton play for same money

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SHEFFIELD Wednesday trio James O’Connor, Jermaine Johnson and Lewis Buxton signed new contracts though they were not offered increased terms, manager Gary Megson has revealed.

SHEFFIELD Wednesday trio James O’Connor, Jermaine Johnson and Lewis Buxton signed new contracts though they were not offered increased terms, manager Gary Megson has revealed.

The Owls boss regards it as a welcome sign of their commitment to the club.

O’Connor accepted what Megson describes as a “substantial” drop in pay, and Johnson and Buxton are on the same wages as before.

“They chose to sign because of the club, and not for financial reasons,” the Wednesday boss told The Star.

“James has taken a substantial drop; Jermaine is on exactly the same terms as he was on before, as is Lewis.”

Johnson and O’Connor recently signed one-year deals, and Buxton, the youngest of the three at 27, agreed a two-year contract. “Lewis was given two years because of his age,” explained Megson.

“Now they have to show what’s expected of them.”

Meanwhile, Motherwell are interested in re-signing Mark Reynolds, on loan.

The left-back does not figure in Megson’s plans and Wednesday would probably prefer a full transfer.

But Reynolds cost £100,000 in January and will have boosted his wages in switching to Hillsborough.

Well manager Stuart McCall admitted: “Mark could be a possibility for us. He would certainly fit the bill of what we’re looking to bring in on loan. He seems at a loose end right now at Sheffield Wednesday. It’s one that I’ve given thought to but I don’t know if it could happen.

“Mark would certainly be ideal in that he can play at centre-back and cover at left back as well. He’s the type of player we’re looking for but financially it might be out of our scope.”

Charlton have made their 10th signing of the summer - Exeter defender Matt Taylor - but have been linked with another out-of-favour Owls defender, Michael Morrison.

Tommy Miller, who was released from Hillsborough at the end of last season, is wanted by Gateshead.

But it is thought unlikely that the midfield player would drop to non-League level.

Gateshead manager Ian Bogie said: “Tommy is a long shot, but we are interested. If a Football League club comes along, Tommy will want to play at the highest level and we have to appreciate that. He’s a very good footballer who is attracting interest from League One and League Two clubs.”