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James Ward-Prowse addresses Roy Keane ‘cheating’ accusation

Roy Keane

Roy Keane slammed James Ward-Prowse’s behaviour in the lead-up to Iceland’s penalty against England.

Moments after Raheem Sterling gave England the lead from the spot, Iceland were awarded a penalty of their own and Roy Keane was not happy with Ward-Prowse’s apparent gamesmanship.

It has been suggested that Ward-Prowse scuffed the penalty spot before Birkir Bjarnason blazed over from 12 yards.

“It’s cheating, I don’t like to see that,” Keane said in a debate with Ian Wright on the matter. “It’s not allowed.”

But Ward-Prowse, who was making his first start for England three years after his debut, rejects the accusation that he altered the penalty spot.

“It wasn’t any digging of the spot, it was more just delaying the penalty,” the Southampton midfielder said. “It was a bit of a mad few minutes for everybody.

Roy Keane

“We’d just obviously scored what we thought was the winning goal and then we faced the penalty, so it was more of a delaying tactic just for everyone to get their heads together and prepare for the penalty. Thankfully it went in our favour.”

There were two red cards in England’s late victory over Iceland, with Kyle Walker seeing red 20 minutes before Sverrir Ingi Ingason was dismissed.

Ward-Prowse escaped punishment for his role in the build-up to Iceland’s missed penalty being taken but he insists that he’s done nothing wrong.

“It wasn’t done in that way,” Ward-Prowse reiterated.

Roy Keane

“There’s certain scenarios in a game you find yourself where you have to take yourself out of the situation and see what’s best at that time. It’s something that we certainly at club level have employed.

“We maybe had the reputation of being a bit too nice and we’ve had to show a bit more aggression and a bit of that darker side in order to help us win games. I think it’s just something that I have learned along the way.”

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