Moxey defends Wolves' tough tackling and urges players to stay 'competitive'

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The Independent Football

The Wolverhampton Wanderers CEO Jez Moxey insists the club have nothing to apologise for after recent criticism about a perceived overly-physical approach.

Mick McCarthy's team earned negative headlines for their display against Newcastle last month while the issue again surfaced this weekend after Fulham's Bobby Zamora broke his leg in a challenge with Karl Henry.

The 13 yellow cards and one red shown to Wolves players during the last two matches have earned the club a £75,000 fine from the Football Association. But Moxey yesterday joined McCarthy and Henry in defending Wolves' style of play and praised the players for showing commitment to the club.

"We don't have to apologise for anything," he said. "Football is a very physical game and it's the referee's job to make decisions as he sees fit. I do not see a problem with how our players have conducted themselves at all. We don't want anyone thinking Wolves plays over aggressively or in a manner not befitting the game because that would be wrong.

"I'm sure the team will remain competitive and will carry on playing as hard as they can, because we have to. Part of the team's make-up is the need to play in a competitive style and our fans want to see that as well. On occasions in the past, pre the Mick McCarthy era, teams have been accused of not playing hard enough for the Wolves jersey. This group of players are totally committed to the cause and are conscientious, genuine players but [neither] they, nor Mick, would have them resort to being overly physical."

Moxey described Zamora's broken leg as a freak injury and admitted he is concerned Wolves may be gaining a reputation that could affect the way they are treated by referees. "The only concern we have is the publicity that has been generated after these last two games and the potential it has to possibly affect the perception of the officials going forwards, which we hope won't be the case," he added.

"The Fulham fans and the media immediately seized on Bobby Zamora's unfortunate leg break during a fair tackle by Karl Henry – and everyone is sorry when a player is badly injured – but it was not a foul, just a freakishly unfortunate accident."