Scotland midfielder Liam Bridcutt has defended his foul on Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko in Wednesday night’s 1-0 win against Denmark on Wednesday night.
The 26-year-old won his second cap for his country in Tuesday’s 1-0 win against Denmark, coming on as a second half substitute for Shaun Maloney with little more than 20 minutes remaining.
The midfielder, who is on loan at Leeds United from Sunderland, did not take long to make an impression with a two-footed challenge on Denmark defender Sviatchenko.
The midfielder was very fortunate to only be shown a yellow card with furious Denmark manager Age Hareide claiming the challenge could have ended Sviatchenko’s career.
Bridcutt insisted it was a fair tackle.
He said: “I won the ball. Anyone who knows me knows the way I play, I am 100% committed when I go into the tackle.
“When I go in I don’t go in to hurt people, I never have and I never will.
“You see those tackles in the Championship so for me it was normal.
“I didn’t think it was a bad tackle, the ball was there to be won and I had to go for it.
“They were a bit up in arms with my tackle but I was on the end of one a few moments earlier.
“It was from behind and I didn’t react, I just got on with the game.
“I’m a fair player and it was never my intention to hurt or injure someone.
“I play fair, we’re all fellow professionals and we look after each other. I saw the player at the end and I said the ball was there to be won. I said sorry if I caught him, it was one of those things.”
Bridcutt, who qualifies for Scotland through his Edinburgh-born grandfather, won his first cap in a 2-0 defeat against Serbia in March 2013.
After a three-year wait, Bridcutt was delighted to get another taste of playing for Gordon Strachan’s side.
He said: “It was a good night, it was good to be back in international football because I had a long period out due to injury.
“I’m fully fit now and enjoying it. I knew it was going to be tough to get back in, but the form I’m in just now has shown to people that I’m back.
“The manager said at the end it is all about winning games and that was our second win in a week.”
Bridcutt moved to Leeds on loan in November and has made 23 appearances for the Elland Road side, who are 13th in the Championship.
After failing to make the breakthrough at Sunderland, the defensive midfielder is relishing playing first team football once again.
He added: “Sunderland is a big club and Leeds is massive too. The club has a great history and want to be back at the top.”