Stoke City boss Tony Pulis said the club will review a behind-the-scenes incident involving Kenwyne Jones and Glenn Whelan.
According to reports, Jones was the victim of an end-of-season prank in which he found a pig’s head wrapped in his clothes.
Jones was then alleged to have vandalised the windscreen of Whelan’s car in retaliation, and while Pulis admitted that the actions of both players were unacceptable, he was critical of the media’s reaction to the incident.
Speaking after his side’s 1-1 draw with Southampton on Sunday, Pulis said: “We kept Kenwyne and Glenn away today because of that distraction, we wanted to focus on the game and I think we’ve done that, but I’ve spoken to the two lads and they understand.
“We’ll deal with it in-house and then obviously we’ll let you know.
“The disappointing thing is that some of the coverage of it has been pretty poor, even today reading one newspaper where one of the journalists actually brings religion into it and that had absolutely nothing to do with it whatsoever.
“You have to accept and you have to get on with it but I was very disappointed to read that.”
Despite the duo’s absence, Pulis was pleased with his side’s performance, which saw Peter Crouch get on the scoresheet against his former club.
But it was another former England international who drew the attention of the crowd inside St Mary’s, as Michael Owen came on for his last game after announcing his retirement.
And Pulis paid tribute to both sets of fans for the reaction the striker received when he was introduced.
He said: “I thought the reception was fantastic. He’s had a wonderful career, and he’s been a top, top player in this country.
“I’m pleased he’s come on and I’m pleased that he’s finished the way’s he’s finished.
“It was a great credit to Southampton supporters as well who gave him a great reception, not just ours.”