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By ESPN Staff

Warnock: I wasn't telling players to break legs

Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock has denied accusations he told his players to hurt Reading opponents following Keith Gillespie's sending-off in the 3-1 defeat.

Warnock was sent to the stand along with Royals coach Wally Downes in the aftermath of Gillespie's 55th-minute dismissal after the winger thrust an arm in the face of Stephen Hunt within 20 seconds of coming on as substitute.

The Blades boss was seen to kick out a leg on the touchline and within seconds Downes had charged at him to spark a brawl that involved substitutes and other backroom staff members.

Warnock was adamant his leg-kicking had not been as sinister as it appeared - and was sure referee Mark Halsey would back him up when the inevitable Football Association disciplinary probe begins.

He said: 'He was trying to say I was telling people to break legs again, which is absolutely garbage. People will think that because they want to but fortunately for me the referee heard exactly what was said and confirmed that. Fortunately for me, Mark Halsey won't lie about what was said.

'I went like that [kicking out] to tell him that Steve Sidwell's tackle on Chris Armstrong a few minutes before had been the worst of the whole game.'