Cole apologises for stupid tackle

Last updated : 06 December 2003 By Chris Parry
His straight red means that he will get a three match ban at a time when we can least afford to lose him at left back. Giovanni Van Bronckhorst is sunning himself in Barcelona on loan, therefore it would seem that Kolo Toure will be asked to cover for him.

Cole said: "The tackle was in the heat of the moment. I didn't go over the ball and I didn't mean to hurt Ben Thatcher. That being said, however, I did deserve to be sent off and I have apologised to my team-mates and the boss."

His manager's comments were as follows: "It looked like Ashley wanted to get the ball but it was a two-footed tackle that was too high, it was a red card and we have to accept it.

"He will miss three matches now and that can be costly but we have handled that before and we will deal with it again. If he wanted to hurt the opponent then that is completely wrong, but it's difficult to say and I will review the tackle on television tonight. My reaction will depend on the intent of the player."