Gary Rowett defends Derby’s Bradley Johnson following alleged biting incident

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Stoke City manager Gary Rowett says the club ‘won’t be following anything up’ following the Bradley Johnson biting incident on Wednesday evening. It was alleged that the Derby midfielder had bitten Stoke’s Joe Allen during a feisty encounter but Rowett stated that both players felt the incident had been blown out of proportion.

Rowett said: ‘’Originally someone said to me that Bradley Johnson has bitten Joe Allen. But I spoke to Joe after the game and he said it wasn’t anything massively problematic. I spoke to the referee after the game and said I wouldn’t put anything in any report.’’

‘’Bradley is a good character and a good lad, so we won’t be looking to push for anything at all. I think it was just a moment in the game, it looked a lot worse than it was. So we won’t be following anything up and I hope no one else does.’’

Derby County manager Frank Lampard also had his say on the incident, which was denied by both players in the aftermath of the game. Johnson would be likely to receive at least a four game ban should he be found guilty by the FA, but Lampard believes the midfielder isn’t guilty of any wrong-doing.

He said: “Joe Allen has absolutely categorically said he wasn’t bitten, so I would be very surprised if Bradley Johnson gets charged when he says he didn’t bite anyone and nobody was bitten.

“It’s one for the FA but Bradley Johnson has just seen his team-mate suffer a red card challenge which could have badly injured Richard Keogh. He then gets hit around the back of the head, he then gets put in a headlock.

I would be very surprised if anyone came out of that with a smile on his face. You don’t. You come out of it with a bit of a grimace or whatever.’’

The former Champions League winner also sung the praises of Joe Allen following the incident, but said that the story should move on as his side look to continue their Championship play-off push on Saturday against Swansea City.

Lampard said: ‘’The fact is, Joe Allen, fair play, has honestly said he (Johnson) didn’t bite him. So that’s where I’m at and we’re at, so let’s see. He’s a competitive player and has absolutely no history of it (biting), and having seen the footage of it, I understand his tension.

Stoke now face Reading at the Madejski looking to continue their momentum from Wednesday night.

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