BLACKBURN manager Michael Appleton accused Millwall of taking “cheap shots” at his players after they emerged battered and bruised from yesterday’s goalless FA Cup quarter-final at The Den.
Scott Dann had his head bandaged after being caught by Rob Hulse’s elbow in the first half and he was clattered in the head again in the second by Millwall defender Danny Shittu during a feisty clash in south-east London.
Referee Martin Atkinson dished out seven yellow cards in total with one of the worst offences committed by Shane Lowry, who sent David Bentley flying up in the air with a hefty tackle in the second half.
Bradley Orr came on in the first half for Adam Henley after he suffered an injury, but had to be replaced 12 minutes later with a suspected broken rib after a challenge with Shittu.
“There were a lot of tackles flying around today and a couple of cheap shots going on out there, which is disappointing,” Appleton said after the match.
Appleton thinks Wednesday’s replay will not be as physical, if the game is officiated by a “strong referee”.
“As long as we get a strong referee I don’t see there being any problem,” he said.
Millwall hit back at Appleton’s claims last night, insisting they were not overly physical.
“Cheap shots? I don’t think that was the case,” Millwall boss Kenny Jackett said. “I don’t think that was my players at all.”