Hughes defends Murphy

Fulham boss defends his skipper in row over tackling

Murphy: Received boss' backing

Murphy: Received boss' backing

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Fulham boss Mark Hughes has defended Danny Murphy after his skipper's controversial comments in the tackling debate.

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Murphy accused the managers at Stoke, Wolves and Blackburn of sending out their players "so pumped up there is inevitably going to be problems."

Rovers boss Sam Allardyce has since demanded an apology, but Hughes has refused to condemn his player, believing he was simply giving his honestly-held opinion.

The Fulham boss said: "You must recognise that Danny is at the coalface.

"In his view in certain games against certain opposition, opponents have over-stepped the mark.

"You have to accept that because even as a manager you don't know the intent of somebody.

"As a player I knew when someone was over-stepping the line or just making a fair and competitive tackle.

Huge respect

"There's a lot been said about Danny being disrespectful to the manager, but having had conversations with him he has huge respect for the managers of the teams he mentioned.

"Maybe the fact we had recent history against the teams he mentioned was fresh in his mind and he was giving examples.

"We're disappointed by the reaction to it. You must respect he has an opinion. He was being honest.

"He's an honest guy and has forthright views. He's quite prepared to have his say. He's probably been surprised by the reaction.

"He wanted to make a point. Whether he did that in the right manner is open to debate."