I’m no diver, says Antonio

Sheffield Wednesday v Millwall.....Owls denied a penalty when Millwall's ex Wednesday keeper Stephen Bywater holds off Michail Antonio
Sheffield Wednesday v Millwall.....Owls denied a penalty when Millwall's ex Wednesday keeper Stephen Bywater holds off Michail Antonio
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Michail Antonio has stopped short of directly criticising referees in the wake of his penalty-area experiences this season but he would like them to know he is no diver.

The thought has crossed his mind that some people may get the wrong end of the stick.

After all, if the same player seems to be at heart of a cluster of penalty appeals, succeeds in none, and even gets booked for diving on one occasion, then maybe there is a risk of him acquiring an unwanted reputation.

“What can we do - get the referees to come into the club and show them we’re not divers?” he said with a touch of exasperation.

He is happy for anyone to analyse the incidents in which he has been involved, insistent that his penalty claims were right and proper, and brought about by fouls, not his own actions.

He was certainly supported in the one example that could be scutinised via TV footage: in the QPR game he was brought down by a defender a nd it should have been a red card as well as a penalty, as Antonio himself reckons.

Our picture on this page shows that Stephen Bywater had a case to answer last Saturday.

“He stuck his arm out to prevent me from going round him,” said Antonio.

See the full story in the Green’Un pages edition, available from early Saturday eveining. Go to www.thestar.co.uk and greenun digital edition. Also featured match reports and pix.