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Cottagers captain also calls for tougher sanctions

Fulham captain Danny Murphy has blamed the managers of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers for sending their players onto the field too pumped up.

Murphy saw team-mate Bobby Zamora suffer a broken leg in a challenge by Wolves' Karl Henry, and the same player also dived in rashly on Wigan Athletic's Jordi Gomez last weekend, resulting in a straight red card and a fine of two-weeks wages.

Murphy has branded these type of tackles as "ridiculous" and "brainless" and has placed the blame on the managers for their players' behaviour.

Speaking at the Leaders in Football conference in London, Murphy said: "Your manager dictates what your players do and how you behave.

"You get managers who are sending their teams out to stop other teams playing, which is happening more and more - the Stokes, Blackburns, Wolves.

"They can say it's effective and they have got to win games but the fact is the managers are sending out their players so pumped up there is inevitably going to be problems.

"Every ship has a captain and that's the manager who is in charge."

Murphy has also called for tougher sanctions for dangerous tackles, especially those who are serial offenders.

He added: "The pace in which some players go into tackles now is ridiculous. There's no brains involved in the players who are doing that.

"I don't believe players are going out to break another player's leg but there has to be some logic and intelligence involved.

"If you are going at someone at a certain pace and you don't get it right you are going to hurt them.

"Players should be culpable for that, in terms of punishment I don't know what - but they need to show a little bit more intelligence, especially the ones who are doing it repeatedly."

Fulham star Murphy pointed to his former boss Roy Hodgson as the ideal example to take, as the London club topped the Fair Play league throughout the Liverpool manager’s tenure at Craven Cottage, an achievement the ex-Reds midfielder claims is no coincidence.

"If you have a manager like Roy Hodgson in charge you don't get discipline problems," he said.

"If you have a manager that's in control of the team and doesn't allow these type of things to go on then you are going to have a more disciplined team.

"I'm not saying tackling is a bad thing but we want to watch the best players on the pitch.

"Under Roy Hodgson at Fulham we were always top of the Fair Play league because he wouldn't accept talking back to the referee and he wouldn't accept stupid tackles."

On the other side of the coin, Everton captain Phil Neville has actually insisted that the tackling of today is far less intense than when he started out.

"Ten or 15 years ago when I was faced with a tricky left winger the first thing I had to do was boot him up in the air," said the 33-year-old.

"I don't think we tackle as hard as we used to. Tackling is part of the game, we just need to outlaw the two-footed challenge that has crept into the game."

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