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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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By ESPN Staff

Jewell vows to 'make feelings clear' after charge

Wigan manager Paul Jewell has vowed 'to openly make his feelings clear' at a personal hearing into his furore with Phil Dowd.

Jewell has today admitted a charge of improper conduct - swearing at Dowd - during his on-the-pitch rant at the official following a 2-1 defeat at Arsenal earlier this month.

However, Jewell has still requested a hearing to put over his side of the story, feeling there are 'strong mitigating circumstances'.

A statement from the club said: 'Wigan manager Paul Jewell remains resolute he has a strong case and will continue to defend his right to speak openly on the game.

'Paul Jewell has never denied using strong language in the heat of the moment, language that under FA rules is deemed inappropriate.

'However, he feels there were strong mitigating circumstances on the day, and these will be presented in detail at the hearing.

'The Wigan Athletic manager is very proud of his own and his team's record when it comes to showing respect to match officials.

'He uses the correct channels to offer feedback, both positive and negative on referees and has often gone on the record sympathising with the difficulties faced by referees in today's high profile Premiership climate.

'The fact the standard of his team's behaviour on the pitch is generally so high, and that his players do not surround or harangue referees in order to put pressure on them, comes from a direct edict by the manager to treat referees fairly and for his players not to try to sway the referee's decision-making in any way.

'Paul Jewell is looking forward to the hearing, and the chance to openly make his feelings clear. He is confident these concerns will be listened to fairly.'

Jewell was initially angered by Dowd's refusal to award an 80th-minute penalty when Emile Heskey was fouled by Mathieu Flamini inside the area.

That could have led to Wigan taking a 2-0 lead and a red card for Flamini, however.

Within seconds, Dowd further angered Jewell by not letting Josip Skoko back on the pitch after he had received treatment.

The Australian was left on the sidelines as Fitz Hall scored the own goal which led to Arsenal's comeback win, with Flamini setting up the equaliser from an offside position.

After the final whistle Jewell was seen furiously gesticulating at Dowd as he vented his frustrations on the Staffordshire official.

There remains the prospect Jewell will also be charged by the FA for his post-match comments with regard to Dowd and his display.

Jewell claimed Dowd cost Wigan victory and potentially £50million - the price for staying in the Premiership as the Latics battle against relegation.

After writing to Jewell asking for his observations, the Latics boss has since replied and the FA are now considering the matter.

Also still under consideration is the club's accusation against Dowd that he swore at several Wigan players during the game.

The club wrote an official letter of complaint to the FA, Premier League and referees' chief Keith Hackett bemoaning Dowd's conduct.

Left-back Steve McMillan, meanwhile, is to officially retire in April after losing his battle to overcome a long-standing knee injury.

McMillan made the last of his 103 appearances for the club in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg win over Arsenal in January last year.