American great inspires Owls

Developing all the time: Sheffield Wednesday ace Gary Madine.  Picture: Steve ellis
Developing all the time: Sheffield Wednesday ace Gary Madine. Picture: Steve ellis

GARY Megson is a big admirer of Vincent Thomas Lombardi’s work.

At Sheffield Wednesday’s Middlewood training ground, there is a sign up on the wall of one of the American’s most famous quotations.

It reads: “There is a price to pay for success.”

Brooklyn-born Lombardi is regarded as one of the greatest coaches of all time, having led the Green Bay Packers to four consecutive league titles during the 1960s in the NFL.

Speaking to the press corps yesterday, Megson said he wants Gary Madine, the division’s joint top-scorer with five goals, to take Lombardi’s words on board.

“Gary needs to read that sign, as they all do,” said Megson. “I am big fan of Lombardi’s. I think he is arguably the best coach there has ever been in any sport. Some of his ideas still apply today even though it was 50 years ago.”

He added: “I like the American coaches and I think they have got some good ideas. You can pick up a lot of things from different people.

“Lombardi had a way of doing things, not with money. It was hard and at times austere. The way that he had his values stands a lot of football clubs and people in good stead. He found a way to win and that’s something everybody is looking for.”

Madine took his tally to five goals in his last five matches with his double to help knock MK Dons off top spot. The Gateshead-born player is in imperious form and is set to spearhead the Owls’ attack at Stevenage tonight and Megson is delighted with his performances.

“He is playing great,” he said. “It is not only his goals; we get all the statistics on Monday morning and he was our highest receiver of the ball on Saturday and yet his success rate was 100 per cent in giving it to the same coloured shirt and that is exactly what we want.

“It all stems from his work rate. It has been much higher in the last few games and everything else has dropped into place. I am really pleased with him and hopefully the goals will continue.”

Megson thinks Madine is reaping the rewards of working harder to close down the opposition and making better runs off the ball.

He said: “Gary is getting himself into miles better positions. He needs to keep improving all the time and recognise what he needs to do on the pitch, as well as in Gary’s case, off it. He has got the potential to go to the very top buy he has got to keep working hard.”

Asked if Madine has the ability to be the leading marksman in the third tier of English football, Megson added: “It would be great but it is not something he needs to strive for. First of all he needs to strive to be in this team. At the moment, the way he is playing and the stuff he is doing, regardless of his goal, will keep him in the team. Everybody else has got to accept that principle.”

Teams and ref

STEVENAGE: (Possible): Day; Henry, Roberts, Bostwick, Charles; Wilson, Mousinho, Byrom, Laird; Reid, Beardsley..

OWLS: (Possible): O’Donnell; Buxton, R Jones, Batth, Bennett; Palmer, Semedo, Prutton, Marshall; Madine, Morrison.

DARREN SHELDRAKE (Surrey): Issued 15 yellow cards this season. In charge when the Owls won 3-0 at Bristol City in last season’s FA Cup.