Steve Evans gives fresh view on Bridcutt's tackle on Sviatchenko

Leeds United East Stand

Celtic's Erik Sviatchenko claimed the Leeds midfielder could have broken his leg in Tuesday's international friendly at Hampden Park.

Leeds United manager Steve Evans has defended Liam Bridcutt's tackle on Erik Sviatchenko.

Bridcutt was booked for the challenge, which sent the Celtic defender sprawling during Scotland's 1-0 win against Denmark on Tuesday.

Slow-motion replays showed that Sviatchenko was first to the ball as Bridcutt came at him with both feet raised, though Evans said it was the type of tackle he hoped to see more often from the midfielder.

"When you watch it back he clearly wins the ball so to me it’s a fair challenge," he told the Yorkshire Evening Post. "It’s a fuss about nothing and I don’t know why so much has been made of it.

"As head coach of Leeds I want him putting those sort of challenges in every week and if you’ve watched Liam over any period of time you know full well that he never goes in with any intention of hurting anyone. That’s not his game or his character."

Bridcutt's challenge provoked an angry reaction from Denmark boss Age Hareide, who called it 'terrible' and said he should be spoken to by Scotland manager Gordon Strachan.

But Evans suggested there was another reason for so much being made of the incident.

"I was at the game and Denmark were the better side," he added. "They had the better chances, they should have won and the goal they conceded was very poor. Rather than focus on all that, it’s a bit easier to focus on Liam’s challenge."

Bridcutt was Evans' first signing following his appointment at Elland Road earlier in the campaign, and the on-loan Sunderland man has failed to appear in just one of the Whites' 20 Championship matches since joining.

The 26-year-old's Stadium of Light contract expires in 15 months' time and Evans has previously hinted at making the deal permanent this summer.

The former Rotherham boss told the Yorkshire Post earlier this month: "I think Liam’s very aware of what I think of him. He’s very aware of what this football club thinks of him. And the one thing I’m very aware of is that Liam loves playing for Leeds United."

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