Big Sam stands up for Barton
Sam Allardyce feels Joey Barton is being singled out for criticism after his challenge on Dickson Etuhu.
Last Updated: 11/11/07 9:29am
Sam Allardyce feels Joey Barton is being singled out for criticism because of his past reputation following the Newcastle United midfielder's challenge on Dickson Etuhu.
Barton caught the Sunderland man with a high challenge in Saturday's 1-1 draw in the Wear-Tyne derby, but the tackle went unpunished.
However, while Allardyce acknowledges it was an ill-advised tackle, the Magpies boss believes there were similar incidents at The Stadium of Light.
"There were a lot of incidents like that, but it is only because of Joey's reputation that people bring it up," Allardyce told reporters.
"But it is not good and he should not do it."
Sunderland manager Roy Keane was quick to downplay the severity of the challenge and revealed Etuhu was not hurt by Barton's tackle.
Keane said: "I don't want to talk about the Barton incident, I am not going to get bogged down by a tackle that was slightly high.
"That happens in these games, a lot of them are mistimed.
"You give and you take. Dickson is a tough lad. He is alive in the dressing room and won't be leaving on a stretcher."