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Grant backs under-fire Cole

21 Mar 2008 - 16:49:49

Chelsea coach Avram Grant was pleased to hear Ashley Cole apologise for his behaviour during Wednesday's action-packed 4-4 draw at Tottenham.

The England international was lucky not to be sent off for a horror tackle on Tottenham defender Alan Hutton, but was also heavily criticised for turning his back on referee Mike Riley when he was shown the yellow card.

Cole had told the club's official website: "I'd like to apologise to anyone I offended and, of course, Alan Hutton. I didn't mean to go in hard that way, it was high, but I tried to read the ball and get the ball first, but he was a little bit too quick for me.

"It wasn't malicious and I'm a little disappointed with what people are saying, that I meant it.

"Of course it was a bad tackle at the time, but in the heat of the moment you want to win the game and win every tackle.

"I'm an emotional person, things can happen on the pitch very quickly, but I didn't mean to disrespect the referee. I recognise this is a part of my game that I need to work on and control."

Grant hopes the matter can now be put to rest, saying: "First you need to give credit to Ashley because he behaved like a mature guy.

"He saw what he did the day afterwards and he apologised himself. Nobody pushed him to apologise and you need to give credit to him about that.

"He made a tackle and he realised he needed to apologise about that and his behaviour. It is the first time he's done that kind of thing and he apologised.

"In football, unfortunately things happen, there are worse tackles than this. It's more important not to do it, I agree, but because it's football and it happens, it's more important to take responsibility.

"You need to give credit to a player who after only 24 hours saw it on TV and took responsibility for it."


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