St James' Park, Newcastle

Next Game

Newcastle v Burnley

Thursday, 01 January 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

St James' Park, Newcastle

Last Game

Newcastle 3 - 2 Everton

Sunday, 28 December 2014, 16:15

Barclays Prem

Whelan: Challenge was fair

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has insisted to Sky Sports that Callum McManaman's challenge on Massadio Haidara was a 'fair' one.

Last Updated: 18/03/13 at 19:14 Post Comment

Massadio Haidara: After the challenge from Callum McManaman

Massadio Haidara: After the challenge from Callum McManaman

Haidara had to be stretchered off after the controversial tackle in Sunday's match but Whelan has launched a staunch defence of his player and does not feel he should be punished.

After the match Roberto Martinez insisted the challenge was not malicious, whilst referee Mark Halsey looked to have his viewpoint blocked.

Whelan insists that it was not a foul, and he told Sky Sports News: "Can I say to the Newcastle player that I hope you're soon well and hope you don't miss any matches, it was a pure accident and so we wish you a speedy recovery.

"I was watching the match and the referee was only 15 to 10 yards away, the ball came down between the two players, they both went for it. Our lad got the ball, no question he got the ball, but they collided - the still pictures look like he has gone for the player and gone over it, but he didn't, he got the ball.

"The referee was only 10 yards away and didn't even give the foul - it was a fair challenge, you have to see it all - our lad went for the ball, and they collided, it is football. It is tough game but it was an accident."

Newcastle are understood to be 'baffled' by Whelan's response but have not made an official statement on the matter.

Whelan himself had his career ended in the 1960 FA Cup final by Norman Deeley - but says players collide, and that is football.

"I have got a fair view, when a ball bounces between two players - I had the same at Wembley when the ball bounced between myself and Norman Deeley," he said.

"I got the ball but we collided and I broke my leg - and these accidents do happen. It was an accident when we went for the ball and in football you are allowed to go for the ball.

"We have to have 100 per cent commitment from every player, and I don't care who you're playing - they were fighting for the ball as much as ours - but our lads won't be unfair.

"It was a complete accident and hope the lad from Newcastle recovers quickly."

Right message

Whelan is adamant that the Football Association should not charge McManaman.

"It sends out the right message, the message is this; you play football and the ball bounces you are entitled to go and win it, kick it or get the ball as long as you go for the ball and it is not too high and this was only 14 inches off the ground - now that is playable," he said.

"That is what young McManaman has done, he has gone for the ball and has won the ball and the referee was only 10 yards away and didn't even give a free-kick and there is a lot to be said for that."

Whelan says they have been told by Newcastle that nothing is broken.

"We have asked for it [a check on the player], but they have said nothing is broken and they are just checking on ligaments but hopefully the lad will be playing in a fortnight," he said.

Should the FA charge the Wigan player, Whelan says they will not fight it.

"We will accept it as the FA look at things carefully, but they won't stop the pictures like the press do," he said.

"It was a tough match and we did not play at our best and I am sure Newcastle were a bit tired, but we stuck at it and lady luck smiled on us a bit and we had a little bit of good luck, not Callum McManaman which I thought was right, but others like the goal which apparently hit the hand before going in."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

Footer 365

Premier League: Sam Allardyce accuses referee of guessing wrongly over disallowed Alex Song goal

Sam Allarydce criticised referee Neil Swarbrick for disallowing a goal after West Ham were defeated 2-1 by Arsenal.

Premier League: Arsene Wenger says Arsenal are showing signs of consistency after West Ham win

Arsene Wenger said Arsenal are heading in the right direction after seeing them hold on for a 2-1 win over West Ham.

Premier League: Newcastle overcome Everton 3-2 thanks to Papiss Cisse, Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback

Newcastle overcame Everton 3-2 at St James' Park thanks to goals from Papiss Cisse, Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property