Fulham boss Mark Hughes has defended Danny Murphy, after the midfielder came under attack for comments criticising fellow Premier League teams for an over-physical approach.
Murphy named Stoke City, Wolves and Blackburn Rovers as sides he felt stepped over the mark and has since been attacked by the managers of each of those three clubs, as well as a number of other leading figures.
However, Hughes believes that Murphy was merely speaking his mind and making a pertinent point.
He commented: "You must recognise that Danny is at the coalface. In his view in certain games against certain opposition, opponents have over-stepped the mark.
"You have to accept that because even as a manager you don't know the intent of somebody.
"As a player I knew when someone was over-stepping the line or just making a fair and competitive tackle.
"There's a lot been said about Danny being disrespectful to the managers, but having had conversations with him he has huge respect for the managers of the teams he mentioned.
"Maybe the fact we had recent history against the teams he mentioned was fresh in his mind and he was giving examples.
"We're disappointed by the reaction to it. You must respect he has an opinion. He was being honest.
"He's an honest guy and has forthright views. He's quite prepared to have his say. He's probably been surprised by the reaction."