fluffed your lines

Owls Manager: Gary Megson.
Owls Manager: Gary Megson.
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GARY Megson has hit back at United’s Nick Montgomery for his criticism of Owls midfielder Chris Lines in the wake of the Sheffield derby.

The Wednesday manager says that Lines was innocent and statistics prove that Montgomery’s claim that Lines had little influence on the game was groundless.

The United man accused Lines of making disrespectful comments in the the players tunnel. Montgomery also drew attention to the fact that his opponent had not played above League One level.

Megson, though refusing to divulge exactly what happened after the game, said: “I know what went on, and it wasn’t Chris Lines who did it.

“I like Nick Montgomery. He’s a good player. To say the lad [Lines] has not played above Division One is quite right, but seven of our team haven’t played above Division One; all theirs have, and seven of them have played in the Premiership.

“That’s why it’s such a good result for us, against real top-class players like that.

“To say that the lad [Lines] didn’t really have a kick ... you need to have a look at the stats and make sure you had more kicks than the one you accuse of not having them. He [Montgomery] didn’t.

“Chris Lines had more passes, more shots, more possession. The passes he hit were more accurate than Nick’s.

“I’d take Nick Montgomery all day long but what he said about Chris - he’s got it all wrong.”

The affair led Gary Madine to post on Twitter that he could not believe what Montgomery had said, and the striker added: “Ha ha, this could mean war.”

Wednesday say this remark was meant to be light-hearted. Megson takes a relaxed view of social networking sites as he views them as an unavoidable part of modern life.

But he has reminded his players not to overstep the mark: “I’ve spoken to them about it. The younger lads, it’s the era they’re brought up in. I’ve been made aware that one or two are saying things on it they shouldn’t. There’s nothing you can do.”

Megson had already disagreed with Danny Wilson over the Owls equaliser, saying it was a perfectly valid goal, though the Blades boss claimed it should have been disallowed.

Wilson also criticised referee Michael Oliver. but Megson has now revealed he thought the 26-year-old was “terrific” and can become one of the top officials.

n Owls: P34/35