Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Ferguson slams Carragher tackle

Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has branded Jamie Carragher's tackle on Nani at Anfield last weekend as "disgraceful".

Although the Manchester United manager was keen to avoid any controversy following a difficult week, he could not help himself referring to the tackle that left his star winger nursing a deep leg wound that is likely to keep him on the sidelines for another fortnight.

"It was a disgraceful tackle, we know that, but you just move on," said Ferguson.

As chief executive David Gill made his feelings known to referees' boss Mike Riley in the directors' box at Liverpool, it is fair to assume United were not in agreement with referee Phil Dowd, who deemed it a yellow card offence.

It was part of a succession of debatable decisions over the past fortnight that have reignited discussion about refereeing standards at home and abroad, with both Ferguson and Arsene Wenger facing improper conduct charges over critical comments that the game's authorities believed went beyond the boundaries of acceptability.

The controversies stemmed from Wayne Rooney's attack on James McCarthy at Wigan a fortnight ago, which almost all observers felt was worthy of a red card but the Football Association were powerless to act upon once referee Mark Clattenburg confirmed he had seen the incident.

"I've nothing really to say about it," he said. "It has been well-documented, although most of you have still been going on about Rooney and why he's not been punished and that was 11 days ago."

Of more concern to Ferguson, at least publicly, is the treatment Nani has received. Carragher apologised for his tackle, which left the Portugal winger with a deep gash that required careful stitching in an effort to try and limit the possibility of infection.

"The wound was too wide so we sent him to the hospital to see what they could do," revealed Ferguson. "In the end, our own doctor and the surgeon there managed to get it stitched up, which was the best news we could have got. The alternative would have been to wait and just let it heal.

"With an open wound, infection is obviously a big problem. We are still worried about it and we have to monitor it every day to make sure there's no moisture in it. It is very difficult to say when he will be back but we do have a two-week break after next Saturday. He will be ready for the return after that, that's for sure."

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