Date: 11th February 2011 at 2:17pm
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GARY Megson takes control of Wednesday for the first time when the Owls make the trip to Spotland to take on an in-form Rochdale in npower League One on Saturday.

The new Wednesday boss looked on from the bench as the Owls drew 2-2 with MK Dons last weekend, but only got involved in the second half due to a woeful first-half showing at S6.

Megson will be hoping to have an instant impact on the Owls as they look to get their promotion hopes back on track against the Lancashire side, and Wednesday can’t afford too many more slip-ups.

Victory for the Owls will be a tough ask against a Rochdale side who collected 14 points in January and saw Keith Hill, their manager, pick up the manager of the month award.

Vital Quotes:

Owls boss Gary Megson told the official SWFC website:

‘I’ll pick a team for the game against Rochdale and the players must perform. Anybody can have an off-day but if you have two, then we can change it with not much difficulty.’

‘This football club isn’t firing on all cylinders at the moment,’ he said. ‘We’re eight points off the play-offs but five points off the drop zone.

‘We haven’t been winning games this year in terms of league games so the reality isn’t perhaps the same as the expectation and we need to change that.’

Rochdale Team News:

Rochdale will be boosted with the news of Keith Hill, their manager, winning the manager of the month award for January.

But Spotland fans will also be hoping the curse of receiving the manager of the month award doesn’t haunt them against the Owls this weekend.

‘Dale enjoyed four wins and two draws from their six matches in January and have continued February in a similar vein of form, with two draws and a victory, the latter coming with a 3-1 win against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night.

Hill has no new injury or suspension concerns for the visit of Wednesday and he could opt for the same starting eleven that saw off the Pirates at Spotland in midweek.

Player to watch: Chris O’Grady

The former Leicester City striker has notched up eight goals so far this season and his strength and power makes him a threat from set-pieces. Wednesday’s recently fragile defence will be in for a test against him.

Wednesday Team News:

New Owls boss Megson could ring the changes for his first full game in charge.

He was due to watch on from the bench against MK Dons last weekend but couldn’t resist intervening at half-time, with Paul Heffernan and Neil Mellor both being introduced in place of Gary Teale and Gary Madine.

The Owls’ other substitutes from the weekend, Tommy Spurr, Mark Reynolds, Mark Beevers and Chris Sedgwick will also be putting their hands up for a start.

Darren Potter will also be available for selection after serving a one-match suspension for the clash with the Dons, following his sending-off in the 5-3 defeat at Peterborough United.

But winger Jermaine Johnson is understood to be struggling with illness.

Player to watch: Gary Megson

The focus will not be on a single player, but Owls boss Gary Megson on Saturday, as the new Wednesday boss looks for a winning start life at S6. A more attacking approach? A new-look starting line-up? We’ll soon find out.

Match Facts & Stats

Form:

Rochdale: W-D-D-W-D

Wednesday: D-L-D-L-D

Head-To-Head:

Rochdale wins: 0

Wednesday wins: 3

Draws: 0

Last Time Out:

Wednesday 2-0 Rochdale

Hillsborough, 13/11/10

Wednesday won the reverse fixture this season 2-0 at Hillsborough back in November. Giles Coke and Clinton Morrison hit the second half goals to seal the three points.

Next Fixtures:

v Tranmere Rovers (H) – 15/02/11