Belfast Telegraph

Green denies scuffle claims

Robert Green has rejected claims QPR team-mate Steven Caulker suffered his cut head in a pub scuffle on Sunday.

Former England goalkeeper Green laughed off reports Caulker was injured in a fight at a west London pub during a QPR Christmas lunch, at which Crystal Palace players were also present.

QPR senior management have denied Caulker was involved in an altercation, instead insisting the defender slipped and cut his head.

"If you wanted an accurate headline on the story, it would be 'man falls over'," Green told BBC Radio Five Live.

"I think that in response, the club have said pretty much what happened: he came out, slipped over and banged his head.

"But this is the nature of the beast in football. I must have been in a different bar.

"It was a Sunday lunch, after we'd had a tough week winning two games out of three, including a big win against Burnley. We didn't have a game until a week on Monday.

"We've got people far too old to be going out late at night, with me, Rio Ferdinand and Richard Dunne.

"Steven was back out of hospital and we had a laugh about it, and unfortunately it's made the front page of the paper."

Owner Tony Fernandes hailed QPR's squad spirit to be able to shrug off the newspaper allegations, though Caulker did require hospital treatment for the cut to his head.

Fernandes confirmed the squad were granted the Sunday afternoon gathering following a vital 2-0 home victory over Burnley that lifted Rangers out of the Premier League relegation zone.

"I'm aware of some headlines appearing in tomorrow newspaper (sic). After a great win boys were given permission for a Sunday lunch," Fernandes tweeted late on Monday evening.

"Team is very united and really playing for each other. Steven Caulker slipped over and hurt his head and is fine. Nothing else to report.

"Great team spirit. We are one. Best I've seen since being chairman. A few sensational headlines but team has done us proud."

QPR manager Harry Redknapp recently said there would be no Christmas party for his squad but QPR spokesman Ian Taylor confirmed the gathering on Sunday had been sanctioned.

"Following Saturday's Premier League win versus Burnley and with no further fixture for nine days the club can confirm players were allowed to have a Sunday lunch together," Taylor wrote on Twitter.

"Steven Caulker was not involved in an altercation. He did suffer a cut to his head, which he received treatment for at hospital before being discharged on the same evening.

"The club will be making no further comment."

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