Bruce seeks advice of Riley
Steve Bruce is to seek clarification from referees' chief Mike Riley after Lee Cattermole's tackle on Luka Modric.
Last Updated: 12/11/10 4:59pm
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is to seek clarification from referees' chief Mike Riley after Lee Cattermole's tackle on Luka Modric.
The midfielder was booked by match referee Howard Webb after his tackle on the Croatian during Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp branded it 'reckless' but Bruce believes it was a perfectly fair challenge by his skipper, who has already been sent off twice this season for two bookable offences.
Bruce produced his own video evidence of the incident to illustrate his point as he held his press conference ahead of Sunday's Premier League trip to Chelsea.
The footage produced showed that the midfielder made firm contact with the ball and then caught Modric as his foot bounced up off it.
The Sunderland boss said: "I am going to go to Mike Riley and I am going to ask him to come and clarify if that is legal or not legal because, at the end of the day, Lee still received a yellow card.
"I think we want clarity on it to say what it is. The one thing we have tried with Lee is to say, 'Hey, listen, the last thing we want is a reputation'.
"He has done his best, but he makes one challenge and it's away with it again."
He added: "Now, I don't want to see Modric injured, but I have got to disagree with Harry. For me, it's not a ridiculous tackle, it's a fair one and a good one.
"Unfortunately, there are grey areas now. If you tackle like this, 10 years ago everyone in the ground would applaud and say what a fantastic tackle.
"Now all of a sudden, there's a grey area and people say, 'Well, you got the man as well'. Well, if you tackle on the floor, you are always going to make contact with the man.
"But as long as you play the ball and don't go over the top of the ball, then for me, it is a good challenge.
"It's why the Premier League is watched all around the world, that physical element you don't see anywhere else, and that's what makes it the spectacle.
"That's how difficult it is. I think it's fair, but there you go. I think you are wrong, Harry."
Meanwhile, Bruce has praised Jordan Henderson, who made his senior debut for the club in the 5-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge in November 2008.
Just two years on, the 20-year-old is now in consideration for a place in Fabio Capello's England squad for Wednesday's friendly against France, which will be announced on Saturday evening.
Bruce added: "It would be a fantastic rise for the boy. He is the modern-day player. He is constantly at 13km a match, which takes some doing.
"He's 6'2", he can run up and down, but for me the biggest attribute he has is not just his football ability, but he wants to be a football player.
"There are no real distractions for him and I hope that continues.
"I will do my damnedest, as I am sure his family will, to make sure he keeps that attitude because all the kid wants to do at the minute is play football, which in this day and age is quite refreshing."