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Sep 26, 2012

Walters forgives Luiz for challenge

Stoke's Jonathan Walters has forgiven David Luiz for the reckless challenge which left Tony Pulis fuming at Stamford Bridge last Saturday.

Pulis condemned the Chelsea defender's wild lunge as a potential "leg-breaking" tackle and is still angered by the fact Luiz, 25, was not shown a straight red card by referee Michael Oliver.

Walters, 29, has been left with a four-inch gash above his right ankle, where Luiz caught him in the dying stages of Chelsea's 1-0 win.

At the time, the Republic of Ireland international was furious with the challenge and had to be restrained by John Terry as he squared up to Luiz.

But the striker is now more relieved at the narrow escape from injury, rather than angry, and is just happy he will be available for Stoke's meeting with Swansea at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

"I was angry, but I have been angrier. I think I've reined it in a bit over the years. I think he tried to apologise afterwards, but didn't get the chance," Walters said. "There isn't a grudge as far as I'm concerned. These things happen in football and you just have to get on with it. The main thing is I am fit for Saturday."

Pulis claimed the Luiz challenge could have left Walters with a broken leg and criticised the rules which mean the former Benfica man cannot be retrospectively punished because he was booked for the tackle.

Walters also believes Premier League regulations create problems because of their lack of room to manoeuvre and punish players retrospectively, even if incidents are dealt with by match officials.

He drew comparisons with Andy Wilkinson's three-match ban given out last week after cameras caught him raising an arm to Mario Balotelli in the game against Manchester City.

"It's not nice seeing anybody sent off. As far as I'm concerned, it's the ref's decision. So if he (Luiz) doesn't get sent off, he doesn't get sent off," he said. "But I do think we have got to have more consistency. With Andy, probably nothing much happened, but it gets reported and then he gets pulled up after."

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