Joe Allen: Neil Taylor ‘in bits’ over Séamus Coleman tackle

Wales and Stoke City midfielder: ‘Tayls is one of my best mates and he’s a great guy’

Joe Allen went down under a heavy challenge from Stoke City team mate Glenn Whelan at the end of the first half of Wales’ 0-0 draw with Ireland. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Joe Allen went down under a heavy challenge from Stoke City team mate Glenn Whelan at the end of the first half of Wales’ 0-0 draw with Ireland. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Joe Allen declared Neil Taylor was “in bits” over the horror challenge which left Republic of Ireland captain Seamus Coleman with a broken leg.

Everton full-back Coleman was given oxygen and carried from the field on a stretcher after being caught in the 69th-minute of Friday’s fiery World Cup qualifier between the Republic and Wales in Dublin.

The Football Association of Ireland confirmed after the goalless draw that Coleman had broken his right leg and the 28-year-old is expected to undergo surgery on Saturday.

Wales manager Chris Coleman said Taylor had gone into the Republic dressing room after the game to see the Ireland captain, although he did not think he had managed to do so.

Taylor spent eight months out of the game after breaking his ankle in 2012 and midfielder Allen said the Aston Villa defender was devastated by the incident.

“He’s in bits to be honest,” Allen said.

“Tayls is one of my best mates and he’s a great guy. He’s really disappointed that one of his tackles has ended up getting someone hurt.

“But unfortunately in football these things can happen.

“There was no malice in the tackle and he certainly wouldn’t have intended to hurt anyone.

“I know him as well as anyone and I think everyone is disappointed, and from Seamus’ point of view it doesn’t look great.”

Allen was involved in the game’s first flashpoint just before half-time when he was caught by the swinging forearm of Stoke team-mate Glenn Whelan.

The two sets of players squared up to each other and, as the action became more fraught, the Republic felt Gareth Bale was fortunate to escape with a booking for his goalmouth challenge on John O’Shea.

Moments later Taylor went in hard on Coleman and Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli did not hesitate in brandishing a red card.

“He (Whelan) has given me assurances that he didn’t mean it,” Allen said of his club colleague.

“It happens when you come up against players you know, team-mates, and there’s no hard feelings at all.

“I’ll have to see it back. At the time I thought I was caught by an elbow. Who knows?”

Bale’s booking, his second of the competition, rules him out of Wales’ next game — the trip to new Group D leaders Serbia on June 11th.

Serbia’s 3-1 win in Georgia took them above the Republic on goal difference, while Austria’s 2-0 victory over Moldova moved them level with third-placed Wales and four points behind the top two.

“It’s always disappointing when people miss out through suspension, but in our last campaign we had it,” Allen said about the absence of Wales talisman Bale in Belgrade.

“We’re going to miss him, I’m not going to try to deflect from that.

“But we’ve had games without Aaron (Ramsey) and Ben (Davies) — important players for us — and we’ll just have to cope with it.

“Serbia will obviously be glad that he’s not playing, but we certainly feel we’ve got enough to go out there and overcome that.

“It’s still in our hands because we can take three points off everyone.

“We’re still unbeaten, which obviously doesn’t count for that much — it’s all about points — but we’re hard to beat and we’re not going to make it easy for anyone.”

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