'Give Neil Taylor a break' - Eamon Dunphy performs u-turn following horror tackle on Seamus Coleman
Eamon Dunphy has backed Seamus Coleman to use his mental resolve to recover fully from his double leg fracture and has called on people to take it easy on Wales' Neil Taylor, the man who inflicted the horror injury on the Donegal man.
The Aston Villa defender has been in the firing line since his ugly lunge on Coleman on Friday night, with Dunphy describing the challenge as "nasty" and "filthy" on RTE.
Taylor will serve an automatic one-match ban but a FIFA's disciplinary committee could add another four games to that suspension, if they deem that the severity of the challenge warrants it.
Writing in his column in today's Irish Daily Star, Dunphy issued a climbdown on his immediate assessment of the incident and called for leniency for Taylor.
"My initial response was one of outrage and I was angry with Taylor," he wrote.
"But, when I cooled down and thought about it, I had more sympathy for the Welshman.
"It wasn't a premeditated or calculated assault on Coleman.
"Taylor was desperate to get the ball, and intended to go in hard.
"But that's not unusual. Players look to go in hard in challenges all the time.
"It was a lunge by Taylor, Coleman, as usual, was going full pelt.
"He was unlucky enough to have his foot on the ground when Taylor came over the top and has paid a heavy price.
"Taylor needs to be cut some slack.
"What happened to Coleman was one of the worst things I have seen on a football pitch.
"But, if you watch football regularly, it's just pure luck that this doesn't happen more often.
Dunphy claimed that the atmosphere going into the game had been stoked by Roy Keane's comments on how Ireland would "hit" Bale, despite the fact that the Ireland assistant boss qualified his remarks.
Observers have cited previous incidents involving Taylor is lambasting the Welsh full-back but Dunphy doesn't believes any previous offences should be held against him.
"I'm sure Taylor is full of remorse and feels terrible about what happened," he added.
"Some have dredged up a couple of incidents from his part to try and hammer him.
"But he's a 28-year-old defender who's been playing professionally for a decade.
"What defender with that service hasn't been involved in a couple of flashpoints? Give Taylor a break."