GARY Megson reckons Wanderers have displayed a big club mentality after standing by injured star Joey O’Brien.

The Republic of Ireland international was granted a new one-year deal last week despite having been out of action since October 2008.

Some had predicted that the latest in a long line of knee injuries for the 24-year-old had spelt the end of his career at the Reebok, where he broke through from the academy ranks.

But Megson felt that by easing O’Brien’s burden, his midfielder had a better chance of making a full recovery.

“A big club would do it and not look at the finance,” he said of the contract offer.

“There is no reason to do it, other than for the employee himself.

“We want to get him into the position where all he is thinking about is getting himself fit and back into the first team.

“His contract was coming up, so that was a worry for him and the injury is a worry for him, but the one thing we could do something about was the contract.

“Big clubs do it, and I’d like to think this club is a big club in its thinking.

“We’re not Manchester United, Liverpool or anyone like that — but this is the right thing to do.”

O’Brien is now off crutches after undergoing major surgery on his knee at the start of the season, but not expected to make a return to training until next year.

And while his chances of even figuring for the first team before the end of the season would appear slim, Megson has praised chairman Phil Gartside and owner Eddie Davies for giving his midfielder a chance to prove his worth.

“I think we need to look after our employees. It shows what kind of a club this is to other players,” he said.

“Financially it’s a no-brainer, we shouldn’t do it. But it’s not always just about finance. Phil and Eddie recognise that we need to do the right things by people.

“He’s only young and he’s had his problems since he has been in football. But this time it seems even more frustrating for him. He does get down because he loves his football, so we’ll get him out now watching a few games now that he’s a little bit more mobile.”

Megson also revealed that another of Wanderers’ long-term casualties, Sean Davis, is spending eight hours a day on a special device designed to aid his recovery from articular cartilage damage.

The midfielder, who was sent off in his last appearance against Liverpool in August, is using a Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) machine to keep the joint moving continuously.

“It’s horrible for him,” Megson admitted.

“It is still going to be some time before he makes a full recovery.”