Robert on diving accusations

Last updated : 22 March 2004 By Martyn Elliott

Dreadful referee Mike Riley pointed to the spot when Robert tumbled in the box under a challenge from Chris Perry, allowing Alan Shearer to add the third from the rebound after Dean Kiely had blocked his spot-kick.

For once Riley cannot be blamed as it looked a clear penalty at the time, but television replays showed that the Frenchman had dived.

When quizzed about the incident, Robert told the Evening Chronicle: "We played well and it was an important win for us and a good three points.

"The penalty was given by the referee, not me. It was the referee's decision and he saw a foul.

"At Spurs last week we maybe could have had a penalty when Aaron Hughes was fouled and also Craig Bellamy.

"This week was our turn I think.

"It was important we scored then because at 2-1 they may have had a chance, but at 3-1 to us we were very happy."

Obviously everyone would prefer to win fairly, but these kinds of decisions have gone against us often enough for me to lose too much sleep over it.

The annoying thing was the attitude of Charlton boss Alan Curbishley, who seemed furious about the whole affair. However, I don’t remember him being too upset when Matt Holland threw himself onto the ground to win a penalty against Arsenal earlier in the season.

It would be great if the Corinthian spirit still existed in English football, but unfortunately every team in the Premiership has its divers and managers rarely seem to be bothered by cheating from their own players, only the opposition’s.