Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey says he is ready to risk another red card this season when Everton host their city rivals in the Merseyside derby.
The 20-year-old midfielder was sent off for a challenge on Jonny Evans and then subsequently had a spat with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, but Shelvey says he doesn’t regret his actions.
The Romford-born youngster said “the walk off the pitch felt like a mile,” but insists he wouldn’t pull out of a similar challenge against Everton on Sunday.
He told The Mirror: “I still stand by my decision, that I wasn’t going to pull out of a tackle. If I had pulled out of one against Manchester United I would have hurt myself and the fans would have gone mental,” said Shelvey.
“It is part of a learning curve, and obviously it has taught me a lot.
“Football is becoming less of a contact sport and it’s a bit of a joke, really.
“How can you pull out of a tackle if the ball is there to be won? That is what fans want to see, but times have changed and we have to adapt.
“I understand that, and I’m glad that happened early in my career and against such a big team because it’s something I can take into the future.”
Shelvey also revealed how he apologised to Sir Alex in the car park after the game.
He added: “I told him it was wrong and emotions got the better of me when it happened… but I still wouldn’t have pulled out of the tackle if it was there.
“He said, ‘Don’t worry about it’.”