Former Sunderland defender opens up on Andy Carroll battle

Andy Carroll protects the ball from Phil Bardsley.Andy Carroll protects the ball from Phil Bardsley.
Andy Carroll protects the ball from Phil Bardsley.
Former Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley says he didn’t have a problem with Andy Carroll at Turf Moor – despite getting “whacked” by the striker.

Sean Dyche said he was “surprised” that the Newcastle United striker had stayed on the field after he caught Ben Mee with his elbow.

The game, won 1-0 by Burnley, was punctuated by fouls, and Steve Bruce was critical of newly-promoted referee Tim Robinson.

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However, Bardsley appreciated the “old-school challenges”. He: “It’s great, isn’t it? That’s what we’re in it for.

“It’s still a contact sport, as we all know. People love a good old-school challenge, and there were certainly a few of them.

“You didn’t see many people rolling around, not with these two teams. We all got up and dusted ourselves down, and got on with it. Big Andy did me in the first few minutes – I’ve still got whiplash from that one.

“But it’s what we do. We get bumps and bruises but get back up and win football matches.

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“I didn’t need that first whack to know what it was going to be like. I’ve played against big Andy for years, and I knew from waking up Monday morning it was going to be like that. So tough, physical game.”

On Newcastle, Bardsley added: “I think they changed formation three or four times, so you have to concentrate on what’s coming at you. In the end they went 4-4-2, and I think that suited us. If someone wants a tear up, we’re game on all day for that sort of stuff.”