Rave review for Lane referee

Good refereeing: Michael Oliver, above left, has been praised by the Owls camp.            Picture: Steve ellis.
Good refereeing: Michael Oliver, above left, has been praised by the Owls camp. Picture: Steve ellis.
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REFEREE Michael Oliver has emerged as another subject of disagreement between Wednesday and United as the fall-out from the Sheffield derby continues, writes Paul Thompson.

Danny Wilson questioned the 26-year-old’s appointment and criticised his performance, claiming that the Owls’ equaliser should have been disallowed.

But Gary Megson has now revealed that he gave the official full marks and felt he handled a difficult game well, though in the Owls manager’s view there were some decisions about which he could have complained.

Megson, who insists that there was nothing wrong with Gary Madine’s leveller, said: “We knew it would stand.

“We did have a look at the free-kick from which United got their second goal. He [the United player] threw himself down. We could moan about that.

“The lad [Lee Williamson] also threw himself down after a few minutes when he bumped into Reda Johnson [both managers later agreed it was not a penalty]. We could moan about that.

“We could moan about Ched Evans with his challenge on Chris Lines in the second half [for which Evans was booked]. But we haven’t done, because the referee, whether he’s 26 or 106, was terrific.

“I gave him full marks. I thought he was really good, for no other reason than he’s a real top-class referee. If he’s 26 he’s going to be one of our top ones.”

Megson said it was not easy for the ref because of the pace and intensity of the game.

“I thought it was a really good game and I thought that all that after the game was a a bit of smokescreen, because we’ve had twice as many shots [as United], two per cent less possession, more attempts at goal than them, more crosses, more corners, more everything,” he said. “One or two of the things that have gone on afterwards are just not right.

“We felt we should have won. It’s gone now. From now on I think we move on and concentrate on the Colchester game, like United did in their game at Preston; they got a good result.

“We’ve got to try to keep on doing what we have been doing at Hillsborough.”

Ryan Lowe could be on the bench tomorrow, while Clinton Morrison plays the final game of his loan with MK Dons, at home to Scunthorpe.

Megson has confirmed that Morrison will be returning to Hillsborough but could be allowed to leave in the future if Dons or another club make it worthwhile for the Owls and the striker wants to go.

“I’ve spoken to Paul Aldridge [chief executive] and said that unless MK Dons or anybody else comes in with an offer that suits then Clinton will come back.

“Whether people like it or not doesn’t matter to me. Sheffield Wednesday aren’t going to pay 50 per cent of somebody’s wages so he can go and do something for somebody who is in the same region of the division as us.

“If MK Dons want to do it, and if Clinton wants it, they have to do what we do.

“We wanted Chris O’Grady for a long time. We didn’t want to pay what we did [£350,000]. They had us jumping through hoops, which we did.

“Huddersfield, Charlton, United and us have all had to do it. Unless MK Dons come up with a deal that makes it look as if they really want to keep Clinton, he’ll come back into the first-team squad and if he does well he’ll get the same opportunities that everybody else will get.

“Clinton’s a good player. He has a great scoring record over the years; he’s a good lad as well. I’ve no problem with him.”

Only loans are possible until the January window opens but it is possible to do loan deals now and agree a fee for a future full transfer.