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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 21, 2008

Megson blasts critics as Bolton look to progress

Gary Megson has slammed the critics who claim Bolton will attempt to kick Atletico Madrid out of the UEFA Cup tonight.

Wanderers boss Megson was left furious by suggestions in the Spanish media that his team, who take a 1-0 lead to Vicente Calderon for the last-32 second-leg tie, have little to offer aside from an overly physical approach.

And he insists that, given the two sides' track records, it is Atletico who should be coming under scrutiny.

'There were quotes after our game about the refereeing performance and the fact that one or two issues were raised after the game, albeit by the opposition,' he said.

'The feistiness, any of that, is nothing to do with Bolton Wanderers. I saw the game here on Sunday between Atletico and Athletic Bilbao, there were six bookings and one sending off, somebody sent off a few days before for spitting.

'There's absolutely nothing I need to reproach my players or the football club for. Any feistiness will not come from ourselves, anything in terms of indiscipline I can guarantee won't come from ourselves.

'We've had nobody sent off since I've been manager of the football club, and there have been very few bookings and I find all this very strange.'

Questions were raised about the standard of refereeing in the first leg when Atletico had striker Sergio Aguero sent-off, but Megson insisted he had no complaints.

'The game was refereed properly, not in any style,' he said. 'There isn't a style, there is a set of rules for everybody who plays football throughout the world and the referees follow those rules, not with a style and not with a certain way of refereeing in a certain country.

'They referee and they referee properly and the Danish guy we had at the Reebok certainly did that.

'The Polish officials we have got tomorrow are really being put under scrutiny from the people from Atletico, and everybody is going to be watching these Polish officials throughout Europe and not just in Spain.'

Megson also insisted he was not perturbed by Atletico's decision to post details of the Trotters' itinerary on their website - something the Spanish club also did ahead of games against Aberdeen and Panathinaikos.

He said: 'We didn't really ask for any explanation. It was done, I don't see any point and I can't see the reasoning being that.

'I'm led to believe that the British Embassy made something of it as opposed to ourselves and UEFA.

'So really, we are not here to get involved in those sorts of things. We are here to play a game of football.'