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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 January 2007, 09:48 GMT
Warnock denies claim over gesture
Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock is confronted by Wally Downes
The Reading-Sheffield United game was marred by ugly scenes
Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock said a misinterpreted gesture sparked ugly touchline scenes at Reading.

Warnock and Royals coach Wally Downes were sent to the stands after rowing following Keith Gillespie's dismissal.

The Blades boss said: "Wally was trying to say I was telling people to break legs, which is absolute garbage.

"I made the kicking gesture to tell the referee that Steve Sidwell's tackle on Chris Armstrong had been the worst of the game."


Warnock, whose team lost 3-1 on Saturday, was seen to make a kicking gesture towards referee Mark Halsey but claimed: "Fortunately for me, the referee heard exactly what was said and confirmed that."

The gesture by the Blades boss prompted Downes to march along the touchline and shove him - and then players and backroom staff had to be separated.

Warnock said: "Wally gets a bit carried away. He was het up today as he always is.

"You might say there is history between us but in the past he has been a little bit cleverer than that."

Warnock conceded that referee Halsey took the right action in sending him and Downes to the stands.

Keith has let the side down and he knows that

Sheff Utd boss Neil Warnock

He stated: "The referee was right to do that because he had to cool down the situation."

The Blades boss had less sympathy for Gillespie, who could be saddled with the unenviable record of the Premiership's fastest dismissal.

Gillespie was seen to raise an elbow at Reading winger Stephen Hunt only seconds after his introduction as a substitute in the 53rd minute, with his team trailing 2-0.

And after being given a red card he appeared to throw another punch at Hunt on his way to the tunnel.

Warnock said: "It wasn't an elbow as such, he was trying to get Hunt off his back, but it was a sending off decision and I have no complaints about that.

"Keith has let down the side and he knows that."

But Warnock was not happy with the behaviour of Hunt.

"Hunt has proved on a few occasions that he's a clever type, and his challenge on Nick Montgomery earlier in the game wasn't clever either," added Warnock.

I won't be doing anything with Wally, I'm happy to let the authorities make the judgement

Reading boss Steve Coppell

Reading boss Steve Coppell said: "I didn't see anything to justify what Gillespie did. I saw him throw an elbow but I don't know if anything went on before.

"If you do something four yards from the linesman there can only be one result.

"I don't know what Neil meant by his gesture but it looked to be inflammatory and I thought it was the wrong thing to do at the time.

"There was a reaction from Wally and I'm not going to condone it but I think it's probably best if we let the authorities deal with it.

"I won't be doing anything with Wally, I'm happy to let the authorities make the judgement."

Reading 3-1 Sheff Utd
20 Jan 07 |  Premiership


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