Hibs star Alan Maybury today defended his challenge on Aberdeen kid Ryan Fraser, insisting it was whole-hearted but never intended to injure his opponent.
The incident at Pittodrie earned Maybury an 11th-minute booking last Saturday with Easter Road boss Pat Fenlon admitting he’d replaced the veteran defender at half-time fearing he may pick up a second yellow.
But Dons manager Craig Brown, after seeing his team win 2-1, launched an attack on Maybury, declaring referee Calum Murray should have shown him a straight red for the tackle and claiming it was only good fortune which saved the 18-year-old from being seriously injured.
Fraser was able to continue after treatment but was taken off minutes into the second half having suffered a hamstring problem, but Maybury revealed he encountered no complaints from the Aberdeen camp at the end of the match which ended Hibs’ unbeaten run of six games undefeated in the SPL and robbed them of the chance to go top of the table.
Today 34-year-old Maybury insisted “freeze-frame” pictures made his challenge look much worse than it was, adamant he’d won the ball and it had only been his momentum which carried him into the winger.
He said: “My eyes were firmly fixed on the ball and I felt it was a tackle I had to go for and that it was winnable. I understand the complaint, but I feel I won the ball and my momentum
carried me through into the winger. It doesn’t look great
after I have won the ball and slid into him when the pictures are frozen on where my foot ends up.
“I know it does not look great, but if I have injured him it was not intentional. It all depends how much you slow it down, put a magnifying glass on it and zoom in. I felt at the time the ball was there to be won and if I’d taken another step or two he’d probably have nicked it by me.
“I lunged in a wee bit but I felt I won the ball and my momentum carried me through and into him and that’s why they are stopping the pictures to show what a bad tackle it was.
“That’s not the sort of
picture I want painted of me. I am whole-hearted and committed, I said that when I signed here that’s how I play and I think most fans appreciate that’s how I play every week. I certainly don’t go out to injure anyone but I am out to defend my corner for my team and that’s the way I have always played.”