Blackburn Rovers boss accuses Millwall of taking 'cheap shots'
Agence France-Presse in London
Blackburn manager Michael Appleton accused Millwall of taking "cheap shots" at his players after a feisty FA Cup quarter-final ended in a 0-0 draw at the Den.
Appleton was furious that Scott Dann needed his head bandaged after being caught by Rob Hulse's elbow in the first half and the Rovers captain was clattered again by Millwall defender Danny Shittu in the second half.
Referee Martin Atkinson showed seven yellow cards in total, including one to Millwall defender Shane Lowry, who sent David Bentley flying with a wild tackle.
Meanwhile, Bradley Orr, on as a first half substitute for Rovers, had to be replaced with a suspected broken rib following a challenge with Shittu.
"There were a lot of tackles flying around today and a couple of cheap shots going on out there, which is disappointing," Appleton said.
"Brad might have cracked a rib. He is really struggling with his breathing at the minute and is in a lot of pain.
"He is taking a lot of pain killers and we will get him scanned and X-rayed as soon as possible."
With the two Championship clubs set to meet again in the replay at Ewood Park tomorrow, there is potential for another bruising encounter.
But Appleton thinks the second meeting won't be as physical if the game is officiated by a strong referee.
"As long as we get a strong referee on Wednesday I don't see there being any problem," Appleton said.
"There were a few arms flailing but that is part and parcel of the game."
Millwall manager Kenny Jackett was unhappy with Appleton's claims and insisted his players were not overly physical.
"Cheap shots? I don't think that was the case," Jackett said. "I don't think that was my players at all."
Millwall dominated for long periods and should have been celebrating their first Cup semi-final appearance since 2004, but Hulse missed a second half sitter.
With Wigan awaiting the winners at Wembley, Jackett added: "The win was there for us. It is frustrating."