Fight for places starts here as Owls raise stakes against Leeds

Rotherham Utd v Sheffield Wednesday....Owls....Julian Bennett
Rotherham Utd v Sheffield Wednesday....Owls....Julian Bennett

GARY Megson is relishing the step up in class for his Sheffield Wednesday team which signals that the fight for places is beginning in earnest.

The Owls face Leeds at Hillsborough today (1pm) with boss Megson revealing that the pre-season programme was planned deliberately to provide a gradual upgrade in the standard of opposition.

He also hints that he has has already formed an opinion of what his current strongest XI is - and it will be up to those not in it to fight their way in.

The club have a few injuries but it is likely to be the strongest line-up possible that takes on Championship team Leeds after wins against non-league club Workop and League Two outfit Rotherham.

Wednesday will face another Championsip club, Barnsley, away on Tuesday, and round off their preparation with a visit from Stoke of the Premier League at home next Saturday.

Megson said: “This is the way we wanted to do it: the tests, in terms of who we’re playing against, get harder and harder.

“We’ve also tried to make it easier for supporters, ours and others clubs’, by playing games locally. Therefore there should be a decent crowd for the Leeds game. They get really good support, as we do, and hopefully it will be a good game.”

Megson made only three changes for the Worksop game and few if any can be expected today. Liam Palmer (suspected tonsillitis), Giles Coke (knee), Daniel Jones (hamstring) and Jon Otsemobor could still be sidelined.

Jose Semedo, David Prutton and Julian Bennett are set for home debuts, joined by new captain Rob Jones, who played on loan for the club last season.

Megson added: “I’m not one who after an initial game gives everybody 45 minutes. No matter what managers might say, they always know what the starting 11 is.

“I want a really strong 11. Players have to compete to get into it and attain a certain standard to do that.”

He has yet to reveal whether he plans to hire striker Padraig Amond, who played in the last two friendlies, but he will not be signing trialist winger Rudy Saintini.

n Owls: P46