Belfast Telegraph

Hodgson angered by Hutton challenge

West Brom head coach Roy Hodgson launched a scathing attack on Aston Villa defender Alan Hutton over a challenge on Baggies striker Shane Long which left him with suspected knee ligament damage.

Long limped off after 20 minutes of Albion's 2-1 win at Villa Park but an incensed Hodgson claimed Hutton's lunge could have left his player "with two broken legs." Villa did eventually have a player red-carded in midfielder Chris Herd, for an off-the-ball clash with Jonas Olsson 15 minutes later, but Hodgson's anger was directed at Hutton.

Hodgson said: "I'm very pleased with the result and the performance but very disappointed about Shane Long's injury. It was a wicked challenge. I'm angered still by the challenge so, before any of you start talking to me about red cards (Herd), be very careful. If ever I've seen a challenge that merited a red card, it was Hutton on Long."

He added: "It is a scan job but Long is lucky because he could have had two broken legs.

"We are a small squad and to lose players for long periods of time is going to affect us.

"Maybe the scan will show it wasn't as bad as all that. We don't think it is a cruciate knee ligament injury, which is good. But there are a lot of other ligaments in knees which can keep you out for a long time. It is a relatively serious injury."

Villa manager Alex McLeish said: "I have seen it on the video. Shane Long was maybe favourite to get it but I thought Hutton had gone for the ball.

"He's collided on the follow-through and that's what's injured Shane Long. Was it a savage tackle? I don't think it was.

"In the penalty box, we see them 100 times and unfortunately Shane got injured. Not everyone gets injured with those challenges.

"I understand what the argument will be, it will be that he's got the ball and followed through and collided with the player, but how can you stop in mid-air?"

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