Stoke manager Mark Hughes is concerned Victor Moses may now get an unwarranted reputation after being labelled ‘a cheat’ by Swansea boss Garry Monk.
Monk has been asked to explain his remarks by the Football Association after claiming Moses “should be done for diving, for cheating” in the wake of winning a penalty in Stoke’s 2-1 Barclays Premier League home win over Swansea on Sunday.
Monk further stated Moses “should be ashamed of himself”, even though a photograph clearly shows Moses’ shirt being pulled by Angel Rangel, leading to the penalty awarded by Michael Oliver.
Although Moses appeared to go to ground too easily, in Hughes’ mind contact was made.
To further inflame matters for Hughes, former Wales team-mate John Hartson echoed Monk’s ‘cheat’ remark in an appearance as a studio pundit on Match Of The Day 2.
That has led to condemnation from Stoke chairman Peter Coates, who has also issued a formal complaint to the BBC.
Former Stoke manager Tony Pulis, however, has also waded into the debate, expressing empathy with Monk’s anger.
In an interview with Sports Wales TV, Pulis said: “I can understand where Garry is coming from. You don’t want to see those incidents.
“As a manager, the worst thing is to actually get beaten with people cheating.”
Despite the furore surrounding the incident, whilst Hughes is confident Moses will not be affected, he is worried as to whether people’s perceptions of the 23-year-old midfielder will alter.
“Victor’s a strong character anyway,” said Hughes.
“You need to recognise when these things are levelled against you, and I thought it (Monk’s comment) was unjust and not correct.
“We’ve discussed that at length, but Victor is a very strong-minded player and he will get on with the business of playing well for Stoke City which he is doing to a great standard at the moment.
“I am really delighted with what he has produced.
“I just hope this week of discussion and debate isn’t going to shape people’s view of him because what was levelled at him was incorrect.”
Hughes maintains he has had no cause to speak to Moses, defending his player against Monk’s accusations.
“Not at all,” said Hughes when asked whether a discussion had been necessary.
“The only thing was he said he felt contact, he was impeded, just as I thought.
“Having seen pictures that verified that was the case, I’ve no reason to speak any further with him.”
Hughes, meanwhile, has expressed disappointment with Monk’s reaction as he said: “It’s right the FA have asked for Garry’s comments.
“I made my feelings plain after the game, we have a strongly-held view, and it’s now up to the FA as to whether they want to take it any further. It will be their decision.
“But it’s fair to say we were disappointed. Garry’s a very articulate young man, and maybe on this occasion he used the wrong word. That can happen.
“Obviously the FA will take a view on it and we will leave it to them.”
Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan, meanwhile, has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a fracture of the right leg.
Whelan sustained the injury during the Republic of Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Germany in Gelsenkirchen on October 14, forcing him off after 54 minutes of the Euro 2016 qualifier.
The 30-year-old subsequently missed the win over Swansea, and is now unlikely to return until early December.
Hughes said: “He got a kick on the outside of his leg, and there is a slight fracture there.
“He’s not been put into a plaster cast. We’re going to try and manage it without that because Glenn feels he’ll get back sooner.
“But the likelihood is he’s going to be out for four to six weeks I’d imagine, which is a blow for Glenn obviously because he is a big part of what we’re doing, and we’ll miss him.”
Associated Press report.