Murphy plays down tackling row
Fulham captain Danny Murphy has hit back in the tackling row by insisting his comments have been "blown out of all proportion". Murphy caused a storm when he pointed the finger of blame at Wolves boss Mick McCarthy, Blackburn chief Sam Allardyce and Stoke manager Tony Pulis for the recent rash of dangerous tackles in the Premier League. Speaking at the Leaders in Football conference in London nine days ago, midfielder Murphy branded some challenges "ridiculous" and "brainless" and claimed managers had to take responsibility for sending out their players "too pumped up". Thursday saw outraged Blackburn boss Allardyce call on the 33-year-old to be "man enough" to apologise and further condemnation followed yesterday from Wolves' McCarthy, Stoke's Pulis and several of their top-flight colleagues. But writing in his programme notes for Fulham's Premier League match with Tottenham today, Murphy claimed his words had been taken out of context. "Much has been made of some comments that came from a conference I was asked to speak at last week," he wrote. "These were taken out of context to a large extent, and were blown out of all proportion. "For the record, I have a huge amount of respect for the managers of the clubs that I named, and for their achievements in the game. "Anybody who listened to the debate in its entirety would have understood the points I was trying to make, so let's draw a line under it." McCarthy yesterday branded Murphy's jibe "a silly comment without a great deal of knowledge", while Pulis accused the midfielder of being "selective" and of pursuing a career in the media. The Stoke boss questioned why Murphy had neglected to mention a tackle by Manchester City's Nigel de Jong that left Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa with a broken leg, as well as Joe Cole's dismissal for a rash challenge on his Barclays Premier League debut for Liverpool earlier this season. Murphy was defended by his own manager, Mark Hughes, insisting the player was simply "an honest guy with forthright views". Hughes added: "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." However, Hughes did suggest Murphy may not have gone about it in the right way. He said: "He wanted to make a point. Whether he did that in the right manner is open to debate."
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