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Best: I did not dive in Dunne red

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Republic of Ireland striker Leon Best. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Republic of Ireland striker Leon Best. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Republic of Ireland striker Leon Best. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

LEON BEST insists that he did not dive to get his international team-mate Richard Dunne sent off in their midweek Championship clash.

On loan to Sheffield Wednesday from Blackburn Rovers, Best scored for the Owls in Tuesday's 3-0 win over QPR but the first-half dismissal of Dunne, for his challenge on Best, was a turning point in the game but Best has defended his role.

"Richard is a friend of mine from the Republic of Ireland squad. I said to him I didn't dive and he should know that from playing with me that I'm not like that," said Best, last capped against Brazil in 2010.

"I was through on goal, I was going to hit it with my left foot but I thought I would take another touch because he (Dunne) was coming in so I tried to get in front of him and he clipped my knee. It took me down.

"I probably could have got the ball but I wouldn't have been able to score. I lost my balance a little bit so I went down. There was definite contact. I'm not a diver. I do try and stay on my feet."

Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp has praised QPR keeper Brian Murphy even though the former Bohemians man conceded three goals on his full league debut for the club.

An injury to No. 1 Rob Green handed Murphy his first start for Rangers on Tuesday, but Rangers boss Redknapp was pleased with the Waterford native.

"Brian Murphy did ever so well, I thought he was excellent," said Redknapp, fearful that QPR have missed out on the chance of automatic promotion.

"The defeat is a big blow and we have to be realistic, we're now looking at making the play-offs and that's not going to be easy. It's going to be tough because there's a lot of teams in and around us."

HAYES IS HURT

FORMER Ireland U21 cap Jonny Hayes could miss the rest of the season with Aberdeen after he picked up a nasty injury.

Dubliner Hayes was part of the Aberdeen side which lifted the Scottish League Cup last week but he injured his collarbone in the win over Inverness and will be out for up to six weeks.


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