Tunnel row stops here - Bennett

TOP English referee Steve Bennett, at the centre of a storm over his sending off of George O'Callaghan at Watford on Saturday, today had some good news for Blues boss Jim Magilton.

By Elvin King

TOP English referee Steve Bennett, at the centre of a storm over his sending off of George O'Callaghan at Watford on Saturday, today had some good news for Blues boss Jim Magilton.

“I have not included anything that happened in the players' tunnel in my official report,” said regular Premiership and European official Bennett.

Both managers played down a half-time clash in the wake of O'Callaghan's controversial red card.

Magilton dismissed the incident as 'handbags', while Watford boss Aidy Boothroyd denied that an incident had taken place at all.

Observers were reported as saying that Magilton had a go at Dan Shittu and Boothroyd intervened to tell the Town boss to stop picking on his player.

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But it was soon sorted and Magilton said: “It was handbags at five paces, just that. A few words were exchanged, that was it.”

Boothroyd said: “It gets intense, football, and sometimes voices are raised and things are said but we didn't get involved.”

Reflecting on the 1-0 defeat, Magilton said: “In football, as in life, you don't always get what you deserve and we have to take in on the chin.

“We came with a game plan and it worked a treat. We were outstanding and rose to the occasion. We were the better team.

“If George kicked out then he will be dealt with internally, but it looked very harsh from where I was.”

Boothroyd conceded his side were second best. He said: “I won't say we were great because we weren't.

“Ipswich were the better side for 85 minutes and I feel for them in many ways but we know what that is like.

“Numerous Premiership managers have said that to me. We took our chance at the end, we are in the next round and that is what counts.”

Town have withdrawn keeper Shane Supple and midfielder Owen Garvan from the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad playing in the 11th annual Madeira Cup tournament.

Striker Billy Clarke and defender Michael Synnott are still included.

The Irish youngsters play Slovakia on February 27, a Madeira side a day later and Portugal on March 2.

Supple and Garvan have been withdrawn as they will be required for Town games at Southampton on Saturday and at home to QPR on March 3.

What do you think? Did George O'Callaghan deserve to be sent off at Watford? Write to Sports Desk, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail starsport@eveningstar.co.uk Please include your full name and address.

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