Saturday 25 November 2017

McShane: I have take it on the chin

Reading's Paul McShane
Reading's Paul McShane

Ireland international Paul McShane insists he was trying to win the ball in the red-card challenge which has finished his season.

The Reading captain was sent off for a tackle during Saturday's 1-1 draw with Fulham, in the first leg of their play-off semi-final on Saturday.

McShane is automatically suspended for tomorrow's second leg but he could face a further ban which would rule him out of the final, against either Sheffield Wednesday or Huddersfield. Royals boss Jaap Stam defended his captain and McShane has also denied any malice.

"I have to take my red on the chin but it was a genuine attempt to win a breaking ball. I was pulled back which meant I'm leaning back and why my foot has gone high," McShane said on Twitter.

Stam felt the challenge only deserved a booking.

"I've seen it back. He (McShane) hits the player. He isn't a player to do it on purpose. He wants to go for that ball. The player nicked it in front of him," said Stam.

"I'd have been happier if he'd pulled a yellow. We had it in the first game over here when Danny Williams got a red card for some reason.

"Macca is very important for us and has been through the season. In the season he had injuries as well. Other players stepped up and they've done well as well. We can still win the game without him, with all due respect. We've got to trust in our players.

Stam also revealed that Irish prospect Liam Kelly, who was called up to the senior international squad by Martin O'Neill in March, could feature tomorrow after missing the first leg due to ilness.

In the other play-off semi-final, played yesterday, Huddersfield were held scoreless at home as Sheffield Wednesday's Irish keeper Kieren Westwood performed heroics.

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