Date: 12th January 2006 at 12:55pm
Written by:

Blackburn manager Mark Hughes believes Manchester United midfielder Alan Smith was fortunate not to be sent off in an explosive Carling Cup clash on Wednesday.

All hell broke loose following a crunching Smith tackle from behind on Robbie Savage.

Referee Rob Styles ended up booking Smith for the initial challenge, United striker Wayne Rooney as he followed through, as well as Savage for grabbing the England striker in a headlock.

Those three cautions were among eight overall in an occasionally tempestuous affair, although Styles was also a little too card happy.

When asked whether Smith should have received his marching orders, Hughes replied: ‘Possibly. Maybe another referee would have given it a different interpretation.

‘I was more upset that he booked Robbie as well when he was on the deck.

‘I appreciate it can be difficult when there are lots of bodies on the ground and it is hard to see what is going on.’