Birmingham City’s match-winner Gary McSheffrey has backed Paul Robinson’s claims that his tackle that left Damien Johnson nursing a broken jaw was accidental.
Steve Bruce, the Birmingham manager, was spitting feathers and accused Robinson of deliberately trying to injure Johnson but Albion’s full-back pleaded his case via the club website.
While Johnson looks set for a spell on the sidelines, McSheffrey says the sickening collision that resulted in Robinson being dismissed was unlikely to have been pre-meditated.
"Damien was a bit dazed on the floor," said McSheffrey, unaware that Johnson had broken his jaw. "He is lucky his teeth haven't come out really because there was a lot of blood in the mouth.
"I know Robbo (Robinson) quite well; he is an honest lad and will give his all.
"I just think he went over the ball a bit there and caught him in the face, but he is a nice lad and I don't think he would go to hurt anyone intentionally.
"That is just the type of player he is 110 per cent. If the ball is there to win he will try to win it. This time I think Jonty (Johnson) got his head on to it and was on the receiving end of a really hard tackle.
"It is just one of those things that will be forgotten about soon. He went down and tried to get up and that is when he felt the blow.
"Sometimes there is a delayed reaction and we were all concerned for him. There was blood coming out of his mouth and there is always concern when a team-mate is down. It was a nasty blow."
McSheffrey's two goals were sublime with a perfectly executed free kick and a delicate chip leaving Pascal Zuberbuhler helpless on both occasions. Nevertheless, he knows the current sweetness and light is a temporary reprieve only should Birmingham drop out of the play-off zone again.
"That’s football, one week a hero the next a villain," said McSheffrey, referring to the pressure that Bruce was under. "We knew we had to up our game, our performance and our workrate. It is amazing what a week can do.
"We are all buzzing, as we have three wins now. A week ago the manager's job was in question, but we have showed that we are all working for him and all behind him.
"We have turned the corner a bit and hopefully it can continue. He has tried to take the pressure off us by taking it on himself.
"Three wins will take a bit off his shoulders but the ultimate for us this season is promotion and until that is achieved no-one can rest. Albion had a couple of half-chances but this game is about end product and I felt we wanted it more in every department.
"We were going into tackles and working hard to close people down and there was a real determination to close people down. Luckily enough I put two away to win the game.
"We will go into the Ricoh Arena (for tomorrow night's Championship clash against Coventry) with a lot of confidence."