Dickov defends Croft

PA Sport
Lee Croft, left, walks away after talking with a ball boy, right, in Saturday's match
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Lee Croft, left, walks away after talking with a ball boy, right, in Saturday's match

Oldham midfielder Lee Croft has received the backing of manager Paul Dickov after he denied racially abusing a ball boy at Sheffield United.

Croft was involved in a heated exchange after he felt the youngster was time-wasting during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane, where Matt Smith snatched an equaliser deep into injury time for the visitors.

The former Manchester City, Norwich and Derby player told the Daily Mirror: "He was wasting time, I ran over to get the ball and he kicked it away. I have had a go at him and that didn't go down too well with the fans."

"Their fans told me to apologise so at the end of the match I ran over to him but he pushed my hand away, he didn't want to know.

"I have done nothing wrong and there was no foul or abusive language. It is all finished."

Dickov, quoted on the Daily Telegraph's website, added: "I've been told about it and anybody who knows Lee Croft knows he isn't racist.

"In no way, shape or form is he racist.

"He has told me he said something to the kid because he kicked the ball away in the heat of the moment, but for him to be accused of racism is just ridiculous.

"If he has said it, he will be dealt with, but knowing Lee and knowing the sort of kid he is there is no way.

"Anybody who knows Lee knows he wouldn't racially abuse anybody."

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