Megson handed another reminder over the hard work that lies ahead

Gary Megson spoke candidly about the difficult task he faces in turning around the fortunes of Sheffield Wednesday following a disappointing defeat at runaway leaders Brighton.

After two encouraging home wins against Colchester and Tranmere, manager Megson admitted he could not identify any postives from his side’s reverse at a sunny Withdean Stadium.

A 44th-minute penalty by Chris Wood and Elliott Bennett’s tremendous strike 16 minutes from time put Brighton one win away from automatic promotion, while Megson was left to reflect on another below-par display.

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He said: “We didn’t play like we can do and are a Jekyll and Hyde team big style.

“Wednesday are too big to be in this division but we are and we must deal with it.”

Brighton, who now boast 11 straight home wins, are on course to go through the entire season unbeaten at home in the league for only the second time in their history but Megson does not necessarily regard the Seagulls as a blueprint for his side.

He added: “Honesty, hard work, work-rate and better players will get you where you want to be.

“Brighton are the best side I’ve seen and are not top of the league for nothing. In possession, we didn’t support the ball anywhere near as well as they did.”

There were precious few thrills for Wednesday’s travelling supporters and Brighton goalkeeper Casper Ankergren’s only meaningful save came mid-way through the first half when he punched out a shot from Lewis Buxton.

A foul by Daniel Batth on Glenn Murray allowed Wood to fire Brighton ahead from the penalty spot and former Wolves winger Bennett sealed victory in emphatic style with a ferocious drive into the top left-hand corner from the edge of the penalty area.

The only fly in the ointment for Brighton was the late sending off of captain Gordon Greer for an off-the-ball incident involving Reda Johnson.

Brighton & Hove Albion: Ankergren; Calderon, Greer, El-Abd Painter; Bridcutt, Bennett (Elphick 90 mins), Dicker; Murray, Wood (Barnes 63mins), Noone(Sparrow 77 mins). Unused substitutes: Navarro, Sandaza, Kishishev, Brezovan.

Sheffield Wednesday: O’Donnell; Otsemobor, Batth, R.Johnson, Buxton; Sedgwick (Potter 68 mins), O`Brien (Coke 61 mins), O’Connor, J.Johnson (Madine 68mins); Mellor, Morrison. Unused substitutes: Heffernan, R Jones, Teale, Nicholls.

Referee: Carl Boyeson.

Owls man-of-the-match: Richard O’Donnell.