THE furore over tackling returned with a vengeance yesterday as Mick McCarthy and Tony Pulis delivered their verbal retaliation to Danny Murphy over his criticism of their teams' tactics.
Murphy accused the managers of Stoke City, Blackburn Rovers and Wolves of sending their players out "so pumped up that inevitably there are going to be problems".
"The pace some players are going into tackles is ridiculous," he said. "There are no brains in the players doing that."
Fulham's Bobby Zamora had a leg broken in a tackle by Wolves captain Karl Henry, who is suspended for today's bottom-two clash with West Ham United after being sent off for a challenge on Wigan's Jordi Gomez.
Yet McCarthy said that it was Murphy who had spoken up for Wolves after their defeat at Craven Cottage last month.
"I've only had one conversation with Danny Murphy and that was after the Fulham game when he said, 'Don't worry, I'll make sure Zamora knows it was a fair tackle,'" the Wolves manager said. "If Danny Murphy can analyse my team-talks or beliefs from that one 30-second conversation, then he is a better man than me.
"I find it incredible coming from someone who has never been in the dressing-room with me. For him to pontificate like he has done is completely wrong.
"I agree with the sentiment of all managers that none of us send a team out to kick or to injure people. We all abhor tackles that hurt people.
"I was the first one to come out and say Henry's tackle at Wigan was a ridiculous tackle and a red card. I have never sent teams to be dirty."