Kemp offers Dembele sympathies
Managerial colleague agrees with assessment of horror tackle
By Danny Wright. Last Updated: September 22, 2010 9:02am
Dembele: Stricken by Wilkinson
Stoke assistant manager Dave Kemp agreed with Mark Hughes that the tackle from Andy Wilkinson on Fulham striker Moussa Dembele was 'unnecessary'.
The Potters coasted to a 2-0 Carling Cup win at the Britannia but attention was trained on the challenge from Wilkinson - in the third minute of stoppage time - that left Dembele departing the pitch on a stretcher.
Cottagers boss Mark Hughes was furious with the Stoke player in the aftermath of the loss - accusing him of breaking the unspoken footballers 'code'.
And Kemp - facing post-match questioning about the incident - agreed with the Welshman that the tackle was needless.
"It was an unnecessary, rash challenge - we know that, we are football people as well," said Kemp.
"We have spoken to Andy about it. He didn't need to make the challenge, I agree."
Hughes said he would assess the fitness of the Belgian star but admitted he is fearing the worst.
Kemp felt hapless in the situation and could only give words condolence to the front man - but he insists Wilkinson intended the player no harm.
He added: "All I can say is that I hope the player is not too badly hurt. There is no malice in his challenge - it is just over-enthusiasm."
Stoke's passage into the fourth round of the competition came from Danny Higginbotham and Kenwyne Jones' headed goals either side of half-time.
City made seven changes from their last outing and Kemp believes the performance demonstrated the strength in depth the Staffordshire outfit now boast.
He went on: "I don't think we weakened the team. Like a lot of teams in the Premier League we have a good squad.
"We had good defenders on the pitch tonight, good midfield players and good forwards so that we could score goals.
"This is probably the first time this club has been in a situation like that."