A clearly angry Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has hit back at Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy's criticism of his side's physical approach to the game.
Murphy suggested that the likes of Stoke, Wolves and Blackburn Rovers step over the line too often, having been wound up by their managers before games.
However, in a prepared statement, Pulis responded:"I'm very, very disappointed to have to sit here and defend accusations against a club that I am very, very proud to manage.
"We currently lie seventh in the league and if you add last season's disciplinary league to this season's, we are currently joint 10th, alongside Arsenal, which is quite a feat considering we spend a great deal more time without the ball than they do.
"This is not fabricated – this is fact.
"I firmly believe the game is cleaner today in terms of bad tackles than it has ever been, but I wish I could say the same in terms of other ills – such as simulation.
"We must absolutely guard against rash tackles, whether committed by a most gifted player or just a mere mortal.
"Even the technically best players are prone to making mistimed challenges. But have they really been sent out to hurt a fellow professional? I don't think so.
"However, we must also be realistic in that we will never completely eradicate injuries in a contact sport."