Asmir Begovic: 'Stoke need protection from overboard tactics'

Goalkeeper frustrated following 1-1 draw with Everton

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The Independent Football

Asmir Begovic, the Stoke City goalkeeper who was booked for criticising referee Mark Halsey's handling of the 1-1 draw with Everton, has accused some teams of "going overboard" with their tactics against his side.

Everton's Marouane Fellaini faces a retrospective ban for a head-butt on Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday in what manager Tony Pulis claimed was the latest in a series of attacks on his players that have gone unpunished.

Stoke have a reputation for physicality, but Begovic – who received the game's only yellow card after repeatedly complaining about the Fellaini incident and others – says that does not justify the excessive force used by opponents.

"I was unhappy with what was going on with me, the holding, the shirt-pulling and everything else that wasn't really being dealt with," he said. "I made my point and I probably deserved a booking.

"Fellaini is a great player but I think it [the head-butt] was worthy of more punishment. It was frustrating in that there were a lot of missed or strange calls.

"People know they have to come here and compete with us, and sometimes they can go a bit overboard which is unfortunate. We like to compete but I don't think it's anything dirty to our game. We're a good strong side and that's all there is to it.".

David Moyes, Everton's manager, agreed Fellaini should have been sent off, prompting the Belgian to issue his apology. "There was a lot of pushing and pulling going on inside the Stoke penalty area and I didn't feel I was getting any protection from the officials," Fellaini said. "Nevertheless I know I shouldn't have done what I did. I lost my temper."

Fellaini now faces the prospect of a Football Association investigation and a lengthy ban. Shawcross' own goal put Everton ahead before Kenwyne Jones equalised to extend Stoke's unbeaten run to seven matches.