Liam Bridcutt: I won the ball in Sviatchenko tackle

Scotland's Liam Bridcutt, right, challenges Danish defender Erik Sviatchenko of Celtic. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

Scotland's Liam Bridcutt, right, challenges Danish defender Erik Sviatchenko of Celtic. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

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Liam Bridcutt has dismissed the furore surrounding his tackle on Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko at Hampden on Tuesday night, writes Stephen Halliday.

Scotland midfielder Bridcutt was booked for a fierce challenge on Sviatchenko which Denmark manager Age Hareide described as “horrific” and potentially career-threatening.

But the 26-year-old Sunderland player, currently on loan at Leeds United, insists there was no malice on his part.

“I felt I won the ball,” said Bridcutt. “Anyone who knows me knows the way I play – I’m 100 per cent committed when I go into the tackle.

“I don’t go in to hurt people, I never have and I never will. You see those tackles in the English Championship all the time, so for me it was normal.

“I didn’t think it was a bad tackle, the ball was there to be won and I had to go for it. The Danish players were a bit up in arms with my tackle but I was on the end of one a few moments earlier. It was from behind and I didn’t react, I just got on with the game. I’m a fair guy and it was never my intention to hurt someone or injure someone.

“I play fair. At the end of the day we’re all fellow professionals and we look after each other. I saw the player (Sviatchenko) at the end and I said the ball was there to be won. I said sorry if I caught him, it was one of those things.”

Bridcutt, who appeared as a second-half substitute for Shaun Maloney in Scotland’s 1-0 win, was delighted to finally win his second cap three years after making his debut against Serbia.

“It was a good night for me, it was good to be back in international football because I had a long period out due to injury,” said the former Brighton man.

“I’m fully fit now and enjoying it at Leeds. I knew it was going to be tough to get back into the Scotland squad but the form I’m in just now has shown to people that I’m back.

“The manager said at the end it is all about winning games and that was our second in a week after the game in Prague last Thursday. We’ve got a good record in friendlies and it’s now about building for the next round of qualifiers.”

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