Begovic reiterates innocence
Asmir Begovic has continued his war of words with Tony Pulis for making a 'disgraceful accusation' against him.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 30/08/10 6:33pm
Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has continued his war of words with manager Tony Pulis for making a 'disgraceful accusation' against him.
Potters boss Pulis believes his second-choice keeper refused to play in their Carling Cup tie against Shrewsbury last week after learning of a bid from Chelsea.
Begovic has since defended himself and has the backing of the Professional Footballers' Association [PFA], who judged the player to have made himself available if necessary.
The Bosnian stopper admitted he was not in an ideal frame of mind to face the Shrews, who went down 2-1 on the night, but claims at no point did he ever refuse to do his job.
Former Portsmouth keeper Begovic, 23, was disappointed the matter became public and maintains his innocence as his Stoke days look numbered after just seven months.
"I never refused to play," he reiterated. "I'd never do such a thing to turn down a chance to play a first-team game. I was aware that there was a bid made and he [Pulis] said it was being considered.
"We spoke about it, it was a private conversation and for it to get out publicly was a little bit disappointing.
"I tried to see him before the team meeting but he refused to see me and then he named the team," added Begovic, who has since had a bid from Chelsea turned down.
"We spoke about the situation and as far as he was concerned he understood the position I was in and he didn't have any problems with me not playing at the time and I thought that was the end of the story but I would never go on strike.
"That's an absolutely disgraceful accusation for people to make."