Gravesen makes his excuses

Last updated : 07 April 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Answering Alan Shearer’s allegations that it had been a "cowardly" tackle, Gravesen said: "I never go into a tackle to injure a player. I felt it was a 50-50 situation with both of us eager to get the ball, although it did look bad when he fell.

"But I was trying to help him by signalling to get help from the touchline for him.

"They probably felt very let down because they had lost to us, they were frustrated."

His explanation may have been more convincing if he’d been able to explain why he had to make a thigh-high challenge when the ball was on the floor when he arrived.

Just for the record Gravesen is a player I rate highly both for his passing and his combative style of play, but the foul on Bernard looked to be deliberate and certainly crossed the line between getting stuck in and dangerous play.

The Dane has collected 21 yellow and two red cards in his 84 Premiership games for Everton.