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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 September, 2003, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
No Strachan backing for Phillips
Southampton boss Gordon Strachan
Southampton manager Gordon Strachan refused to defend Kevin Phillips' late dismissal in the 1-0 home defeat by Middlesbrough.

Phillips received a straight red card from referee Barry Knight after appearing to kick out at Boro's French defender Franck Queudrue.

Strachan said: "He will get a three match ban and that will be his punishment. It will upset him."

The Saints boss refused to comment on Queudrue's part in the incident, saying only: "I've seen it from more than 20 yards away but I can only take responsibility for my own player."

Strachan also declined to discuss a first half incident when Chris Marsden made a late challenge on Boro goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer for which he was booked and then appeared to raise a fist at defender Danny Mills.

Referee Knight took no further action but Strachan took off Marsden two minutes later when there appeared to be no sign of any injury.

I'm not picking out individuals. We win and lose as a team
Saints boss Gordon Strachan

Strachan said: "It's not fair for me to talk about this because I haven't discussed it with the player.

"It's one of those things where I was too busy concentrating on the next thing after the booking but I didn't see what else happened - if anything."

Strachan was upset enough by Southampton's poor performance in their first defeat of the season.

He said: "We did not have enough quality in the last third of the field, our crossing was not good enough.

"We don't often score goals against Middlesbrough here and I had a feeling that the team who scored first would not get beat."

Strachan also refused to publicly blame goalkeeper Paul Jones for Malcolm Christie's 13th minute winning goal which went in by the near post.

Strachan said: "Every goal can be traced back to somebody's mistake but I'm not picking out individuals. We win and lose as a team."

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