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Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 17:35 UK

Pogatetz regrets Possebon tackle

Emanuel Pogatetz (left) and Rodrigo Possebon
Possebon, right, had been playing well prior to the tackle from Pogatetz

Middlesbrough's Emanuel Pogatetz has apologised to Rodrigo Possebon for the tackle that left the Manchester United player needing hospital treatment.

Pogatetz was sent off during Manchester United's 3-1 Carling Cup win for a challenge that infuriated United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Possebon was stretchered off but has not broken his leg as was first feared.

Pogatetz, the Boro skipper, said he "misjudged his challenge" and wishes Possebon "a speedy recovery".

"Firstly, I have to say that I went for the tackle because I thought I could win the ball - I now accept, however that I misjudged the challenge," Pogatetz told the club's official website.

"Immediately after the incident I did not think it was a red card offence because I did win the ball.

"But now I that I have had the chance to see the tackle on television, I know the ref was right to send me off.

"I am going to speak to Rodrigo by telephone and I will apologise for hurting him. I hope that he will make a quick recovery and that he will not be out for long."

Pogatetz should have just walked off the field

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson
The challenge came in the 66th minute of the third-round match at Old Trafford and left the 19-year-old requiring six minutes of treatment before he was carried off.

He was taken to hospital and Manchester United confirmed on Wednesday that the Brazilian, who was making his first start for United, had not broken his leg.

A statement on United's website read: "We can confirm that Rodrigo did not suffer a break to his right leg.

"He was kept in hospital overnight for observation and to assess whether there was any ligament damage to his knee."

The incident was condemned by an angry Ferguson, who was unhappy with the reaction of Pogatetz to the red card.

"It was an absolutely terrible tackle," he said. "What gets me about challenges like that is that the opponent always claims he has done nothing wrong.

"Pogatetz should have just walked off the field."

Ferguson also expressed his disappointment at the reaction of some Middlesbrough officials, who visibly complained as Pogatetz received a straight red card for the foul.

"You get their bench screaming that it wasn't a sending off and there is nothing wrong with our player," added Ferguson.

"At least Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate was very good about it. He apologised and understood the gravity."

Southgate conceded Pogatetz deserved to be sent off.

"We can have no complaints about the decision," he confirmed.

"It is difficult to know why it happened. It was an unusual aberration for him because his discipline has improved in the last two years.

"A couple of lads on our bench did not have the same view as I did but that is dealt with now. We can only hope the lad recovers."

Pogatetz will miss Middlesbrough's next three matches, while Southgate could take additional disciplinary action.

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see also
Man Utd 3-1 Middlesbrough
23 Sep 08 |  League Cup
Carling Cup as it happened
23 Sep 08 |  League Cup
Tuesday's football photos
23 Sep 08 |  Football

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