Gunes rejects Alpay reports

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Turkey coach Senol Gunes has rejected suggestions that he has axed Alpay from his plans for next month's Euro 2004 play-off with Latvia.

Reports suggested that Gunes had lost patience with the Aston Villa defender after his inflammatory antics during the goalless draw with England last weekend.

Gunes insists he has no plans to drop Alpay and believes that his comments have been misinterpreted.

"I did not say anything of the sort. I am not blaming any one player for the game and I have not made any decision about future games," said Gunes.

"We'll see at the time who plays and who doesn't.

"I've said what I have to say about the game. If people want to misinterpret, that's their problem. I said after that the incidents at half-time prevented us from discussing tactics - the press decided that this was an attack on Alpay."

Gunes also believes that Alpay has been made a scapegoat in the whole unsavoury events of Saturday's game and insists that England players were to blame for the tunnel bust-up at half time.

"But Alpay wasn't responsible for what went on in the tunnel - instead of attacking him, why don't they attack Beckham or Heskey? The English started that fight," added Gunes.