Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Tackle Not as Bad as It Looked - Bardsley

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Tackle Not as Bad as It Looked - Bardsley

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

PHIL Bardsley has apologised for his X-rated tackle on Everton's Steven Pienaar at the weekend, but insists it was not as bad as television replays made it seem.

The Sunderland right-back was cautioned after catching his man halfway up the shin with a studsup tackle. Reviewing the challenge for Sunday's television highlights, former Arsenal defender Martin Keown compared it to the recent challenge by Martin Taylor which broke Eduardo's leg.

Even before the Eduardo incident, challenges of that nature were being spotlighted. Both Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Quieroz forced to quickly apologise for excessive comments about Taylor.

While Bardsley admits his tackle was bad, he argued it was just a case of being out-skilled by the South African winger. "When I saw (Joleon) Lescott play the ball I thought it was a slow pass and I could have nicked in front of Pienaar to win the ball," he explained. "It wasn't to be and I've caught him.

Looking back it is a bad tackle. But when the TV slows it down, it looks a lot worse.

I know it wasn't the greatest of tackles and I'm glad the lad is okay.

"He put his body in the way to protect the ball and I've gone for it and caught him. But when its in full flight I don't think anyone around the ground would have ever seen it until they replayed it on the TV. When you look at it again it is not the greatest challenge but I'm grateful the lad is okay." Because Bardsley was booked by Alan Wiley the authorities cannot take retrospective action over the incident. His manager, Roy Keane, said after the match he felt the yellow card was fair, though in the current climate others will certainly disagree.

Having put the incident behind him, Bardsley is looking forward to finally playing behind Carlos Edwards with the winger expected to make his return from injury in tonight's reserve team game at home to Manchester United. …

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