Bolton manager Gary Megson believes Sir Alex Ferguson has been "hung out to dry" over his controversial attack on referee Alan Wiley.

The Manchester United manager made a series of statements about Wiley's fitness, including a belief that he took longer than necessary to book players because he "needed a rest". The United chief has already offered a public apology but referees' chief Alan Leighton has called for a UEFA-style touchline ban.

For Megson, this is just another example of someone grabbing cheap publicity at Ferguson's expense, and he told the Manchester Evening News: "Fergie couldn't have done any more. He gets hung out to dry because of who he is. He has apologised and then everyone criticised the apology."

He added: "Alan Leighton seems to have a bee in his bonnet about the apology. I have seen him quoted as saying it is half-hearted.

"But you are damned if you don't apologise and damned if you do.

"What is he supposed to do? He has said something and then, having had time to think about it, he has said 'sorry'. End of story - move on."

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