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'Horrendous tackle' leaves Stephen Ireland needing 10 stitches in his leg

The Cork native was the victim of a wild challenge from Hull’s Maynor Figueroa.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Stoke City v Hull City - Britannia Stadium Source: Mike Egerton

FORMER IRELAND INTERNATIONAL Stephen Ireland needed 10 stitches thanks to a late challenge from Hull City’s Maynor Figueroa yesterday.

The Stoke City midfielder was forced off at half-time after Honduran defender Figueroa raked the back of leg with his studs during the 1-0 win. He wasn’t even booked by referee Neil Swarbrick for the tackle, however.

Stephen Ireland tackle

The Daily Telegraph have revealed a gruesome picture of Ireland’s injury, and Potters boss Mark Hughes believes Figueroa should have been sent off.

“I’m really pleased, we’ve got 39 points now, but I have to say the day’s events are tempered somewhat because we’ve got Stephen Ireland whose been on the end of a horrendous tackle in the first half,” said the Welshman.

“It should’ve been a straight red card. He’s come in at half-time and his rolled sock down, and everyone is shocked by the gash on his calf.

He’s got something like 12-15 stitches in a leg wound.  “I’m highlighting it because on the day I thought the referee [Neil Swarbrick] was poor. It’s astounding the ref hasn’t sent the lad straight off, they need to be better.

“The assistant referee was only 10 yards away, he needs to see that challenge. There’s been a lot of debate about a certain challenge in the Chelsea-Burnley match - I think it was worse than that.

“We just ask for the key moments to be refereed correctly, and the main gripe at the moment is that is not happening.”

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