LEICESTER CITY 3 NEWCASTLE 0: Mike Williamson has apologised for his sending-off for Newcastle at Leicester on Saturday but denied his manager John Carver’s claim that his dismissal was deliberate.
A statement issued on behalf of Williamson was released by Refuel Performance Management yesterday following the Magpies’ 3-0 defeat which left them in serious danger of relegation. Dutch full-back Daryl Janmaat was also dismissed to leave interim boss Carver fuming.
Williamson said: “I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the Newcastle United supporters and my fellow team-mates for getting sent off.
“There was absolutely no intent to hurt (Leicester’s) Jamie (Vardy) or get sent off, but I recognise I should have been more composed and measured in my determination to win the ball. Unfortunately, it did the one thing that I never wanted to do, and that was hurt the team.
“Moving forward, I will do whatever I can to help my team-mates prepare for the next two games and fight to get back into the team when I’m next available.
“I’ve had the honour to play for Newcastle United for five years now, and I can genuinely say I feel privileged to play for this football club. I would never do anything intentionally to hurt the team or its supporters.”
Carver could not disguise his anger at his players after Saturday’s defeat, which leaves them just two points ahead of bitter rivals Sunderland in 18th, who have a game in hand. The loss was Newcastle’s eighth in a row.
“I thought he meant it,” Carver said in his post-match press conference. “When the ball went onto that left-hand side, my first reaction, five yards before making the tackle was, ‘Don’t do it’ – and he did it.
“Vardy was off the pitch, Willo was off the pitch, the ball was off the pitch. There was no need to do it. I am not accepting that, especially in the situation we are in.”
Asked why Williamson might have done something like that on purpose, Carver said: “I don’t really know. It was just my thought when it happened. I thought he meant that and I have told him so.”
Carver’s record since taking charge at St James’ Park is dismal, having overseen just two wins in 17 games.
But Carver insists he will not hide and wants his players to follow suit.
He said: “I am an honest, straight guy and face it head-on. The day I don’t do that, I may as well forget it. The players have to be the same. They have to face up.
“If they don’t grow up and take it on the chin – go and hide behind a post. That is how seriously I feel about it.”
While Saturday was a day of woe for Newcastle, it was a joyful day for Leicester as Leonardo Ulloa struck twice and Wes Morgan once as the Foxes maintained their survival charge.
Schmeichel, Wasilewski (de Laet 68), Huth, Morgan, Albrighton, James, Cambiasso (Hammond 74), Schlupp, Mahrez, Vardy, Ulloa (Kramaric 78)
Krul, Janmaat, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett, Colback, Taylor (de Jong 58), Gutiérrez, Sissoko, Pérez (Armstrong 74), Riviere (Anita 64)
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved