MANAGER Carl Heeley has given Shabir Khan his full backing over the defender’s ‘body-slam’ on Charlie Russell and admitted his reaction to the horror challenge would have been worse.
With just two minutes left on the clock at Aggborough on Saturday, the Stockport County youngster lunged into a reckless tackle on injury-prone Khan.
The 29-year-old took exception to the foul, however, and picked up Russell before throwing him back to the ground. Khan was shown a straight red card while Russell only received yellow.
A clip of the incident has been viewed more than 13 million times on Vine and a further one million on YouTube but Heeley stood by his man.
“I am not going to dig a player out for that tackle because if I had been there it (the reaction) would have been worse than that because that is an awful, awful tackle,” he said.
“It is just frustration from their player and from my player but he (Russell) has tried to smash him (Khan) into the stand and although I can’t excuse it I understand his reaction.
“He will get full defence from me.”
The challenge marked a sour end to a bad-tempered affair, which City won 2-0, where Stockport also saw forward Jack Ryan sent off for two bookable offences – the latter another nasty lunge on Khan.
“Shab has reacted which is disappointing but it is an emotional game,” Heeley added.
“You want to do well and he (Russell) could have seriously hurt him there so I am just fortunate Shab hasn’t got a serious injury.
“It doesn’t excuse Shab’s reaction but let’s focus on the 2-0 win, a good performance and another clean sheet.”
It is not the first time this season the Blue and Whites have caused a stir on social media as Sean Geddes took the limelight when his ‘rabona’ goal against Barrow in the FA Trophy received more than 1.6 million online views.