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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 3 June, 2020

Wales's Taylor 'in bits' over Coleman injury

The Aston Villa defender was himself sidelined for eight months after breaking his ankle in 2012.

Wales’ Neil Taylor leaves the field after being red carded.
Wales’ Neil Taylor leaves the field after being red carded.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

NEIL TAYLOR WAS “in bits” over his horror challenge that left Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman with a broken leg, according to Wales team-mate Joe Allen.

Taylor was sent off in the 71st minute of Friday’s goalless World Cup qualifying draw in Dublin, with Everton full-back Coleman taken off on a stretcher after his right foot was left dangling by an ugly foul.

Aston Villa defender Taylor was himself sidelined for eight months after breaking his ankle in 2012 and Allen said after Friday’s match: “He’s in bits to be honest.

“Tayls is one of my best mates and he’s a great guy. He’s really disappointed that one of his tackles has ended up getting someone hurt.

“But unfortunately in football these things can happen.

“There was no malice in the tackle and he certainly wouldn’t have intended to hurt anyone.

“I know him as well as anyone and I think everyone is disappointed, and from Seamus’ point of view it doesn’t look great.”

A hard-fought encounter saw Allen involved in the first major incident of the game when he was struck by the swinging forearm of Stoke City team-mate Glenn Whelan.

That prompted both sets of players to square up to each other, while later in the match Wales star Gareth Bale was booked for a goalmouth challenge on John O’Shea in an incident where some observers felt the Real Madrid ace was fortunate to receive just a yellow card.

He (Whelan) has given me assurances that he didn’t mean it,” Allen said of his Premier League club colleague’s challenge.

“It happens when you come up against players you know, team-mates, and there’s no hard feelings at all.”

Meanwhile Wales midfielder Joe Ledley has dismissed suggestions he laughed at Coleman’s injury.

During the course of lengthy on-field treatment, Coleman was given oxygen and it was this point that Ledley was shown on television coverage.

A Twitter user then posted a screen grab where he questioned if Crystal Palace’s Ledley was grinning, leading others on social media to accuse him of laughing.

It was, however, possible to interpret Ledley’s response as grimacing in dismay at the extent of Coleman’s injury.

Ledley, who broke his leg just before the start of last year’s European Championship finals — a tournament where Wales reached the last four — said anyone who thought he had been smiling “need their heads testing”.

I didn’t want to acknowledge the nonsense on here but to those who have wrongly interpreted & commented…on what my thoughts were at that moment in time need their heads testing,” Ledley wrote on Twitter.

“My thoughts are with Seamus Coleman & I wish him a speedy road to recovery.”

Friday’s result kept Ireland four points clear of Wales and level on points with new group leaders Serbia, who beat Georgia 3-1, with only the eventual group winners guaranteed a place at Russia 2018.

© – AFP, 2017

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