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Stop whinging over tackles - Wolves boss Mick McCarthy

Stephen Ward
Ward receives treatment after the challenge by Fabregas, who was booked

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy says it is time for everyone to stop "bitching and whinging" about tackles after Cesc Fabregas's challenge on Stephen Ward.

Defender Ward suffered a gashed leg after a tackle by Arsenal's Fabregas in the Gunners' 2-0 victory on Wednesday.

Wolves have been criticised for their physical approach this season but were on the receiving end on Wednesday.

"I don't mind tackling. What I can't do with is everyone bitching at my players when we tackle," said McCarthy.

Wolves were named by Fulham captain Danny Murphy as one of a trio of clubs whose managers, he claimed, sent their players out too pumped up.

But both Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and McCarthy defended Fabregas over the challenge on Ward that earned him a yellow card.

"Cesc told me it was completely accidental. He went in to see the player and apologised," said Wenger.

And McCarthy agreed: "I have no problem with it and nor does Ward, he shook [Fabregas's] hand and accepted it."

McCarthy rues Fabianski performance

Much has been made of reckless tackling, with Wenger particularly vocal about the number of challenges in the game that he feels are dangerous.

In recent times, Arsenal have lost Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey to broken legs suffered after bad tackles and Wenger has hinted he thinks players are not sufficiently protected.

The Frenchman has called for talks between managers and referees to clarify rules on tackling, but other managers feel many challenges are simply mistimed and are not malicious.

McCarthy added: "It's great that Cesc Fabregas has apologised, and Arsene Wenger apologised to me [over that tackle on Ward].

"I want to see competitive football. People are going for the ball. I have no problem with tackling, but please don't bitch at my players when we tackle. Fabregas has been in and Wardy has accepted it and isn't it lovely?"

Wolves fans were incensed by the touchline challenge by Fabregas on Ward, who was immediately substituted, but Arsenal manager Wenger has backed his player.

"I think it was an accidental tackle. That's what Cesc told me," said Wenger.

"He touched him (Ward) of course but he wanted to play the ball. He went to the dressing room and apologised to the player and he is all right.

"I have not seen the tackle yet but I have just apologised to McCarthy if the player is injured because I didn't know exactly what had happened because the linesman was in my view."

As for the result, McCarthy felt his side were very unlucky to lose.

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"We were the better side," he said. "The man-of-the-match has got to be their goalkeeper [Lukasz Fabianski]. He was hopeless for the goal on Sunday against Newcastle and cost them the game, but tonight he has justified Wenger's faith in him.

"We peppered their goal, we had more shots and attempts on goal, I think, but we've not scored.

"The first goal we conceded was dreadful. It was like a training ground routine - down the side, cross and finish - and it was awful by us. The second goal, with less than a minute to go we had everyone up the pitch chasing an equaliser, so I forgive them that.

"We'll now have games where the pressure will be on and we'll be expected to pick up points, but if we play like we did tonight we'll be fine."

Wenger admitted his side were fortunate at times as they had to withstand some Wolves pressure after the break, but he also felt his side could have killed the game off.

"It was a difficult game. Wolves played very well, tactically they were spot-on - they are a very good side," he said.

"But we had our chances and we could not take them. We had to hang on in the second half and were at times a little bit lucky, especially from set-pieces. But in the end we got a second goal."

Wenger grateful for vital win

After coming in for a lot of criticism on Sunday, keeper Fabianski made a number of important saves in an assured performance, and Wenger was pleased with what he saw.

"Fabianski responded with a great performance today," he added. "I know he has the talent, but mentally it shows he has the strength to do it.

"It was vital for us to win again [after back-to-back defeats], because the confidence drops quickly when you lose games. It was hard fought and achieved with a fantastic spirit."

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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 10 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 12 23 28
2 Man Utd 12 11 24
3 Arsenal 12 13 23
4 Man City 12 5 21
5 Newcastle 12 5 17
6 Bolton 12 1 16
7 Tottenham 12 -1 16
8 Sunderland 12 -1 16
9 Liverpool 12 -2 16
10 Aston Villa 12 -3 16
11 West Brom 12 -5 16
12 Everton 12 2 15
13 Blackburn 12 -1 15
14 Blackpool 12 -7 14
15 Fulham 12 0 13
16 Stoke 12 -5 13
17 Birmingham 12 -3 12
18 Wigan 12 -12 11
19 Wolves 12 -9 9
20 West Ham 12 -11 8

see also
Wolves 0-2 Arsenal
10 Nov 10 |  Premier League
McCarthy forgives Fabregas tackle
10 Nov 10 |  Wolves
Wenger grateful for vital win
10 Nov 10 |  Arsenal
Wednesday football as it happened
10 Nov 10 |  Football
Wednesday's football photos
10 Nov 10 |  Football


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