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By ESPN Staff

Fergie calls for longer Pogatetz punishment

Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed Middlesbrough skipper Emanuel Pogatetz should receive an extra punishment for his horror tackle on Rodrigo Possebon at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Pogatetz was red-carded for the challenge in the Carling Cup clash by referee Andre Marriner and has since offered an apology to Possebon for his conduct.

Thankfully, the young Brazilian neither broke his leg nor suffered ligament damage. However, he is facing a number of weeks on the sidelines, such was the severity of the gash he sustained to his shin.

And Ferguson does not feel an automatic three-match ban from the Football Association is enough.

''I am pleased the referee acted so firmly with a red card for an offence which I think the FA should consider further,'' Ferguson told United Review.

''There is no place in football for that kind of challenge.''

At least, in captain Gary Neville, Ferguson can offer Possebon the ideal example to follow as he battles back to fitness.

The United boss admitted he feared Neville would never return to Premier League combat after the broken ankle he suffered against today's opponents Bolton in March 2007.

But Neville's tenacity has seen him return to action and there must be an outside chance he will be called up for England duty by Fabio Capello ahead of next month's World Cup qualifiers with Kazakhstan and Belarus.

''When you consider the way Gary has been plagued by injuries for 18 months, he has done brilliantly to come back so convincingly,'' said Ferguson.

''At one point I thought he would not make it back into the Premier League. But he has and all credit to him.

''He persevered and never lost faith, despite the succession of niggles and strains that followed his ankle injury.

''He is a role model for any player feeling down on his luck.''


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