League set to look at Owls selections

LEAGUE ONE: The Football League plan to review Sheffield Wednesday manager Gary Megson’s team selection for Tuesday night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first round defeat at Bradford City, writes Ian Appleyard.

Megson is standing by a decision to make a hat-trick of early substitutions in the game – saying it was important to rest players ahead of Monday night’s League One game at Charlton Athletic.

Under JP Trophy rules, participating clubs are required to field a minimum of six players who have made the most starting appearances this season or at least six that started either the preceding or following first team match.

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The Owls started with only five players who started the previous game against Scunthorpe United and only two of the six who have made more than five starts in league and domestic cup games, namely Jose Semedo and David Prutton. Megson, however, claimed that eight players were unavailable.

It could mean that Megson now has to choose his side carefully against Charlton in order to avoid the possibility of a fine from the Football League.

“As is the case with all competing teams, the League will review the side fielded by Sheffield Wednesday in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and consider whether it has satisfactorily complied with the competition’s full strength policy,” said a Football League spokesman yesterday.

“Following a comprehensive review of the competition back in 2006, clubs committed to fielding first team sides as part of a package of measures aimed at raising the competition’s profile and spectator appeal.

“This concerted effort from clubs has worked with the competition enjoying increased attendances, sponsorship revenues and media coverage in recent seasons. The fact that Tuesday’s first round match was shown live on Sky Sports is, in itself, a good example of the progress that has been made.

“The rules are not overly onerous and require clubs to name at least six of the players in their starting eleven that have made the most starting appearances this season or at least six that started either the preceding or following first-team match.”