Pogatetz to apologise for horror tackle

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Middlesbrough defender Emanuel Pogatetz has confirmed he is going to apologise to Manchester United midfielder Rodrigo Possebon for the tackle which saw the Brazilian teenager leave the pitch on a stretcher last night.

Possebon needed oxygen before he was taken off in the second half of United's 3-1 Carling Cup win over Middlesbrough following a studs-up challenge from the Boro captain.

Referee Andre Marriner showed the Austria international a straight red card after the incident which provoked a furious reaction from United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who remonstrated with opposite number Gareth Southgate on the touchline.

"Firstly, I have to say that I went for the tackle because I thought I could win the ball - I now accept, however that I misjudged the challenge," Pogatetz told www.mfc.co.uk.

"Immediately after the incident I did not think it was a red card offence because I did win the ball.

"But now I that I have had the chance to see the tackle on television, I know the ref was right to send me off.

"I am going to speak to Rodrigo by telephone and I will apologise for hurting him. I hope that he will make a quick recovery and that he will not be out for long."

It was initially feared that the challenge had broken Possebon's leg but he was later given the all-clear after spending the night in hospital.

"We can confirm that Rodrigo did not suffer a break to his right leg," a United spokesperson told www.manutd.com.

"He was kept in hospital overnight for observation and to assess whether there was any ligament damage to his knee."