Scharner blasts Villa over Long
Austrian accuses Villa of targeting star striker
Last Updated: October 24, 2011 2:51pm
Shane Long: Was forced off with a knee injury after nasty Hutton challenge
Paul Scharner has hit out at Aston Villa for targeting Shane Long during Saturday's derby as West Brom wait on news of the injured striker.
Defender Alan Hutton committed a horror challenge on Long at Villa Park, causing a knee injury which forced him off the pitch in the 19th minute.
The Baggies are waiting for news on the striker's knock, with manager Roy Hodgson revealing after Saturday's 2-1 win that it is likely to be serious.
Long, a key player for West Brom with three Premier League goals to his name this season, would be sorely missed if he was forced to spend a spell on the sidelines.
Hodgson has made no secret of his anger at Hutton and described the challenge, which went unpunished, as 'vicious'.
And Albion midfielder Scharner has accused their Midlands rivals of picking out the Republic of Ireland international as a target.
"You could see, especially in the first ten to 15 minutes, they tried very hard to kick Shane," the Austrian told the Birmingham Mail.
"If you are scoring three or four goals by this stage of the season, and you are always a threat, then defenders will be looking at you again.
"I think they got away with it and eventually Shane had to go off the field.
"There was some harsh tackling but hopefully it is not too bad."