Sunday 17 December 2017

Cattermole could have ended my career - Modric

Luka Modric. Photo: Getty Images
Luka Modric. Photo: Getty Images

Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric has accused Lee Cattermole of putting his career in jeopardy following the Sunderland captain's latest controversial challenge.

Modric claims Cattermole's studs-first tackle in last night's 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw at White Hart Lane could easily have broken his leg.

Midfielder Cattermole was shown a yellow card for the 69th-minute incident, which sparked a brief melee between opposing players.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp was adamant Cattermole should have been sent off for the third time this season, while opposite number Steve Bruce was equally convinced the challenge was fair.

Modric, who stayed down for some time last night following the tackle, left no doubt where he stood, saying: "Players who tackle like that need to think before making a tackle because they can ruin careers of friends and professionals. They just need to think about it.

"He should have been sent off. I can't show you now but there is a big swelling on my knee and he should have got a red card but the referee decided differently.

"When you see tackles like that, it is a little upsetting, and if they are not punished properly then even more so.

"For now, it is a little bit sore but I hope it will settle down.

"I jumped and if I stayed with my legs on the floor it would have been even worse, but I got out of the way at the last second.

"Maybe if I stayed on the floor I would have broken my leg but I jumped and that has probably saved me.

"Thank God everything finished well."

Referee Howard Webb was also at the centre of the game's other big controversy, electing to book David Bentley for diving in the box following a challenge from Boudewijn Zenden.

A fourth league game without a win means Tottenham face a real battle to qualify for the Champions League for a second successive season, leaving them four points behind the top four having played a game more.

Modric said: "If you look at the result, it is not good for us.

"We deserved to win. We should have had a penalty and maybe a red card (for them) and then it would have been a different game.

"But we need to focus on the next game and try to win."

Despite two key decisions going against them, Tottenham only had themselves to blame for throwing away a hard-fought lead just three minutes after breaking the deadlock.

A horrible mix-up between William Gallas and Younes Kaboul allowed Asamoah Gyan the easiest of finishes for his third goal in two games.

Manager Steve Bruce believes Ghana striker Gyan is finally starting to show the kind of form that made him one of the stars of this summer's World Cup and saw Sunderland splash out £15million on him after his move from Rennes to Fenerbahce collapsed.

"I don't think he did any real work with Rennes after the World Cup," Bruce said.

"And physically, when he came to us, he was nowhere near in condition.

"Thankfully, in the last five or six weeks, we've been able to put a bit of work into him, and that's why we brought him here."

Gyan's hot streak could not be more timely, with Darren Bent out for up to three weeks with a hamstring injury.

Bruce added: "It should be a decent combination when I get Benty fit and I can play the two of them.

"To have those two up front bodes well for us, I hope."

Worryingly, Bent are Gyan are the only two Sunderland players to have found the net this season.

Bruce said: "When the two of them get back, if they get 20 each, that'll do.

"It's a bit of a concern but, sooner or later, we'll be okay, I'm sure of that."

Press Association

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