Frustrated Megson struggles to bring in loans at Wednesday

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SHEFFIELD Wednesday manager Gary Megson has not ruled out the possibility of signing a new player before tomorrow’s FA Cup fifth round tie at Birmingham City.

The Owls are without five key players for the trip to the Premier League club and owner Milan Mandaric is willing to fund another raid on the loan market.

Megson has yet to sign a player since replacing Alan Irvine as manager two weeks ago but has watched his side lose back-to-back away games at Rochdale and Tranmere Rovers.

With the window for permanent deals closing four days before his appointment, Megson admits that the search for new talent has not been made any easier.

“We are trying everything we can to bring in loan players,” he said. “But it is like being in the jungle and all the vultures have got to the carcass already. There is very little meat left on the bone for us.

“The majority of Premier League clubs already have 14 players out on loan,” he added. “We have contacted every single agent in the country, we have rung a lot of clubs and chairmen and managers, but people just don’t want to lose decent players.

“I have worked on the other side of the fence at Bolton so I know the situation. We used to tell the chief scout there that no-one was going out on loan unless it was a kid.

“We can’t bring people in just for the sake of it,” Megson stressed. “I was offered an 18-year-old but all that would be doing is bringing on a young player for that club while he learns his trade through the mistakes he is probably going to make for Sheffield Wednesday. We have to bring in experienced players who are better than what we have got.”

Midfielder Giles Coke is suspended for the next three games after being sent off against Tranmere and striker Gary Madine is cup-tied after playing for his former club Carlisle United in the first three rounds.

Winger Jermaine Johnson is unavailable due to illness, defender Lewis Buxton is out with a hamstring injury, and midfielder Tommy Miller has only just resumed training after a hamstring strain.

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish, meanwhile, confirmed yesterday that he will not be risking defenders Martin Jiranek and Liam Ridgewell against the Owls.

McLeish wants both players, who picked up thigh and calf injuries respectively in midweek, to be fit for the Carling Cup final next weekend against Arsenal at Wembley.