Laws blasts derby tackle

MARCUS Tudgay is set to miss the Owls' Hillsborough opener against Wolves tomorrow because of a shoulder injury caused by a Graham Coughlan tackle that has been condemned by Brian Laws.

The Owls manager has strongly criticised the former Wednesday captain's challenge on his ex-team-mate in the Carling Cup tie at Millmoor after reviewing video footage of the incident.

Tudgay's probable absence is a blow, after he started the season in the Owls' team - partnering first Francis Jeffers at Ipswich last Saturday and then Deon Burton as Burton returned after injury for the Millmoor match and Jeffers was rested. But Wednesday are likely to have 700,000 new boy Jeffers back tomorrow for a home debut. Tudgay's absence will reduce options both up front and on the flanks, as he is a versatile performer, and it temporarily reduces the size of the squad further after this week's exit of Chris Brunt, though Laws is also trying to bring in at least one new player.

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There was no hint of controversy at the post-match Press conferences at Millmoor, where Tudgay was hurt during the early part of the game and went off just before half time.

Laws, who will have examined the incident since Thursday night's match, told the Owls' website that it appeared Coughlan had gone for the player and not the ball, and had made an aggressive tackle earlier on Deon Burton.

The Owls boss is reported to be planning to ask the FA to look at the video of the Tudgay incident and said he intended to speak to referees' supremo Keith Hackett about the way ref Jon Moss handled the game.

It is understood that there is a hope in the Owls camp that the film will support their case.

Rotherham manager Mark Robins told The Star: "I didn't see anything out of the ordinary (at the match). There were no complaints during or after the game. I'm surprised it's come up."