SHEFFIELD Wednesday boss Gary Megson has revealed it was a tough call to leave out Gary Madine at Championship-bound Brighton and Hove Albion.
Megson freshened up his attack at the Withdean Stadium, pairing Clinton Morrison alongside 17-goal top scorer Neil Mellor.
He dropped Madine, who was signed from Carlisle United by former manager Alan Irvine in the January transfer window for an undisclosed fee, to the substitutes bench.
Megson sent him on as a replacement for midfielder Chris Sedgwick in the final quarter of the contest but the lanky striker was not able to help rescue a result for Wednesday, as they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the Seagulls, who will secure promotion to the second tier if they beat lowly Dagenham and Redbridge tonight.
“Gary’s 10-year-old brother was involved in a bad car accident and was knocked over so we hadn’t seen him since Tuesday,” admitted Megson.
“He was supposed to report to training on Friday morning at 9.30am but didn’t get there until 11.30am.
“I thought that we would put Clinton in there because Gary hadn’t been involved in training or set-pieces.
“I didn’t want to leave Gary out at all. I thought we would stick him on the bench in case we needed him. As it happened, we did.”
Megson said Madine’s brother broke his arm in the incident. The Owls boss also confirmed 20-year-old Madine, who has claimed four goals in 17 appearances, had been given Sunday and Monday off from training.
“We have told him that his family has got to be his priority right now,” added Megson. “The only thing he did wrong on Friday was that he didn’t tell us these things earlier.”
Megson said Rob Jones, on-loan from Scunthorpe United, could have started at Brighton having fully recovered from concussion .He admitted: “Rob would have played at the weekend but we won 4-0 against Tranmere so I can’t reward players for winning 4-0 by leaving them out of the team.”