IAN Holloway has blasted Southampton over their attempts to sign Matt Phillips.
The 21-year-old is wanted by several clubs and last week it was revealed the Premier League new boys were to be reported over an alleged illegal approach.
Saints boss Nigel Adkins insisted they had acted in a proper way.
And while Holloway refused to mention the club involved, he sent our a strong message believed to be aimed directly at Southampton.
“No-one calls me a liar,” he said. I changed my phone number about seven months ago and one of my players told me that I don’t answer my calls. How did he know a manager was calling me on a wrong number?
“You are going to have to get up early to get past me.
“When the manager did eventually ring me, I asked him if he’s been trying to ring my other number and he said, ‘Oh yes, I have’. So well done, well played.
“But that’s fine, we’ll go down the right course. No-one calls me a liar, thank you very much.”
Despite reports that Southampton have tabled a £6m bid for the winger, The Gazette understands no official offer has been received.
Holloway revealed: “I’ve spoken to the chairman and he hasn’t had any phone calls, so the media are telling us about one of our players.
“The game stinks sometimes – parts of the game anyway.
“It’s all cooked up to try to upset people and I think it’s a poor show, a very poor show.”
Phillips has spent the week on international duty with Scotland and was an unused substitute in Wednesday’s friendly win over Australia.
He was back at Squires Gate training with Pool on yesterday and was expected to be a member of the squad travelling to London ahead of tomorrow’s season opener against Millwall.
And Holloway hopes the talk won’t unsettle one of his star men.
“Matt is a football player and transfer talk is part of it,” he said. What might affect him is if an offer doesn’t come in, or if one does and it’s not acceptable to our club and he has to stay.
“That could have an impact on everyone and that’s the last thing we want.
“We are a very well-run company and will continue to be very well run by a very clever person.
“Karl (Oyston, chairman) is normally two or three steps ahead. This time he’s got the lad on a two-year contract, with an option of another year.
“So we are in the driving seat here, that’s just the way it is. It will be cleared up very quickly.
“He will be playing with us until anything changes. He was happy to sign his contract, so he has to keep coming to work until we say we don’t want him and he’s going somewhere else.”