Birmingham 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday: Daily Mirror
Published 22:30 20/02/11 By Neil McLeman
Gary Megson has only been in charge at Sheffield Wednesday for four games. But he has already seen enough.
After this gutless surrender at St Andrews, the new Hillsborough boss accused the players of this great club of selling the jerseys and defending like “Keystone Cops.”
And he claimed will be forced to make immediate and wide-ranging changes to prevent the 16th best club in League One slipping into the football league’s lowest tier.
Few of the loyal Owls fans in attendance will disagree with the damning assessment of a team without a league win since December 11.
At least Megson, who was appointed by owner Milan Mandaric earlier this month, did not seek to defend the pathetic cup display against Birmingham’s second team.
In fact, he could not conceal his disgust with the attitude of the fraudulent footballers who competed for a mere six minutes.
“I have been shocked by the state of the club,” admitted Megson, made 286 appearances as a player in two spells with the Owls.
“We have a terrific stadium and great supporters – in my view the best in the country.
“It’s incredible, humbling. If we can show half as much desire and passion as they show, we will be all right.
“But we have to give them more than that.
“Our people have got to accept there is a responsibility to defend with a lot more passion and commitment than we showed. We had a shot from 12 yards and it was blocked. Roger Johnson was throwing himself at it to keep it out. He has a cup final next week and they are 3-0 up.
“We are not doing the same things at 0-0 against a Premier League team. I accept the quality might not be the same but I don’t accept that the determination, work-rate, desire and commitment is not the same.
“There shouldn’t be any difference between the Premier League and us in that respect.”
City needed only six minutes to take the lead when Jean Beausejour slotted home a Lee Bowyer cut-back. Obafemi Martins ended the contest after 17 minutes and David Murphy rammed home the third from a Keith Fahey corner during a dull second half.
“We self-destructed,” complained Megson (right). “We didn’t have anything to defend for six minutes, we were on top and taking the game to Birmingham but the first time they get forward, they scored.
“It was the like the Keystone Cops at times. For the first goal, one of our players makes a challenge on the halfway line but because he thinks he might get a knock he just dangles his foot in and then we concede.
“The second goal, we have a centre-half going into a 50-50 with a forward. It’s a no-brainer who should win it. Yet we are now two down in a game where we have started okay but we have sold the jerseys.
“It’s not the first time it has happened. We are trying to get players in who don’t make these kind of errors. These players have a fantastic opportunity at Wednesday but the players are not taking it.” Megson, who returned to management after leaving Bolton in 2009, will certainly have to earn his money in his three-and-a-half year contract.
“I’m going to have to rip it up now because we aren’t winning games,” he said. “I’ve told people in there that too.”
Wednesday, relegated from the Championship last season, travel to Bournemouth tomorrow in their latest relegation fight.
“It could get worse and if it does we come to a point where nine of the last 15 games are at Hillsborough,” reckoned Megson.
“Then, there can be no suggestion we are frightened of playing at home.
“When you join our club you know 20,000 people will turn up. It’s a huge club with great tradition. And you have to turn up.”