Date:Tuesday October 24 2006
Blackburn Rovers forward Jason Roberts has denied the claims made by Bolton Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce that he dived in winning Rovers two penalties.
Mike Dean, no stranger to awarding penalties having awarded Rovers one and Sheffield United two (all three saved!) in the 0-0 draw at Ewood Park earlier in the season again awarded two to Rovers in Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Bolton at Ewood Park.
Benni McCarthy and Jason Roberts' own penalties were saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen much to the relief of Allardyce with him feeling that Roberts had dived in earning the penalties, with him highly critical of Roberts.
Roberts however has bitten back and is adamant he in now way tried to deceive anyone. He said:
"It all happened so quickly and I've not had a chance to see the incidents again on TV yet.
"But I know I'm not a diver and it didn't go through my mind that I'd try and dive in an attempt to win a penalty.
"For the first one, the ball came in, I went to try and make it and their lad [Quinton Fortune] seemed to catch me.
"Then for the second one, I went through the middle and got caught by a leg."
With the number of chances missed on Sunday ultimately costing Rovers, the former Wigan Athletic forward (who arrived in the summer for around £3 million) was among those guilty as he still looks to open his goalscoring account for Rovers. Despite his miss from the spot he is more than happy to step up again, he added:
"It's disappointing because we had more than enough chances to have won that game.
"We've got to stand up as individuals and have a look at it.
"Obviously, me and Benni are the ones who missed the penalties and we've got to stand up and be strong and take responsibility for that.
"But its part of football and it won't put me off taking another if the opportunity arises."
His goal will come sooner rather than later and although I'd rather see Benni step up once again next time I would have no problems with Roberts trying his luck again. I'm also fully behind Roberts, if he says he didn't dive he didn't.
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Date:Tuesday October 24 2006
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