Beresford apologises for outburst

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The Independent Online
John Beresford, the Newcastle United full-back, was obliged to issue a public apology yesterday following his very public disagreement with his manager, Kevin Keegan, during the Magpies' edgy 1-0 Premiership win over Aston Villa on Sunday.

In full view of both St James' Park spectators and the Sky Sports television cameras, Beresford and Keegan had a heated argument on the touchline moments after the manager had substituted his England B left-back after only 25 minutes of the match.

"I was totally out of order," Beresford admitted. "Tensions were running high with so much at stake. I cannot stress enough how sorry I am for what was two seconds of madness.

"The gaffer shouted some instructions which I felt were not suited to me and I reacted stupidly. I swore and I put him in a predicament. He was right to bring me off. It was the worst moment of my career. I am annoyed that with all my experience I reacted like that."

Following the match, Keegan had said: "I told him something I thought he was doing wrong and when he answered me back like that, I just told him he was coming off. I just had to do it. I don't think any player should talk to a manager in that way - but that will be the end of it."

The Ipswich Town chairman, David Sheepshanks, has promised strong action against the supporters accused of assaulting four Norwich City players after Sunday's East Anglian derby at Portman Road ended with a pitch invasion. "Everything has been recorded on camera and, if there are guilty parties, the club will have no alternative but to take very strong action," Sheepshanks said. Ipswich won the First Division match 2-1 thanks to a Robert Ullathorne own goal four minutes from full-time, after Bryan Gunn, the Norwich goalkeeper, failed to clear a back-pass. Gunn was allegedly involved in a scuffle with fans behind his net before the final whistle.

Ajax will be without their talented Dutch international, Patrick Kluivert, when they attempt to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the second leg of their European Cup semi-final with Panathinaikos in Athens tomorrow. The striker has a knee injury.

On the domestic front, Duncan Ferguson is almost certain to miss tonight's Merseyside derby with a recurrence of a groin injury. The Everton striker is unlikely to be included in the Scotland squad which will be named today for the visit to the European champions, Denmark, a week tomorrow. Ferguson, who has had two hernia operations, may need a third during the close season, which would rule him out of the European Championship finals. Also facing a fitness battle is the Rangers defender Alan McLaren, who will undergo a knee operation in May.

Blackburn may be without two forwards, Alan Shearer (groin injury) and Graham Fenton (back) for tomorrow's Premiership game against Wimbledon. Tomas Brolin is unlikely to be in the Leeds side to visit Manchester United tomorrow and may have played his last game for the club. Howard Wilkinson, the Leeds manager, was unhappy that the Swede reiterated his intention to leave in the summer after the defeat at Chelsea on Saturday.

Another foreign player on the move could be Uwe Rosler. Sheffield Wednesday, who had an offer rejected by Manchester City earlier in the season, hope to land the German striker for pounds 2.5m once the season ends. John Pemberton, the Leeds defender, may miss the rest of the season after damaging knee ligaments at Chelsea on Saturday.

Mitch Cook, Scarborough's director of coaching, has been severely reprimanded by the Third Division club's chairman, John Russell, following allegations that Cook had taken a group of players to a wine bar on the evening before Saturday's 5-1 thrashing at Plymouth Argyle. That was Scarborough's fifth defeat in five games since Cook replaced Ray McHale in charge of team affairs, and a club record seventh successive defeat for the Yorkshire side, who are second to bottom of the division.