Writer: Andy Morgan
Date:Tuesday February 10 2009
Roberto Martinez has said that Swansea City youngster Joe Allen can hold his own on the pitch after watching Ipswich's Alan Quinn elbow the midfielder on Saturday.
Quinn's intentional elbow into the face of the pint sized Welshman went unpunished by the referee, but Martinez is in no doubt that he should have seen red.
And Martinez has told the Evening Post how the likes of Allen and Leon Britton will let their ability make up for their lack of physical presence.
'The referee has to make a decision in a split-second and, probably because we were well in control at that stage of the game, the player got away lightly. In other situations, that would have been a straight red card.'
'When I saw it live, there was some doubt in my mind. But when I watched the replay, it was a clear red card.'
'Like I say, it was probably the fact that Ipswich were fighting to get back into the game which got him out of jail.'
'You look at Joe, Leon and Nathan Dyer and when they come out onto the pitch, the opposition must be thinking 'We have got a chance in the air today'.'
'But we are not going to try to challenge anyone in the air. We will look to keep the ball and, when we do that, I think we are hard to stop.'
'As long as we keep doing it, we will always be competitive.'
'Joe is a level-headed boy who knows he has a great opportunity as part of a Championship team pushing for the play-offs. I try to challenge him more and more — I probably push him a bit too hard sometimes — but tactically he is very aware.'
'If you are well aware, you will never get involved in what the opposition wants to throw at you.'
Allen will not be in action for the Welsh under 21 side this evening, after their game with Northern Ireland was called off because of heavy snow.
Date:Tuesday February 10 2009
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