Kewell admits to diving
Melbourne Victory star Harry Kewell has admitted he dived in order to win a penalty in Sunday's 4-1 A-League loss to Perth.
Kewell was criticised by opponents and fans after his performance on Saturday, with Glory defender Steve Pantelidis going as far to suggest Kewell was a 'protected species' after he escaped a second yellow card for his theatrical attempt to win a penalty.
The marquee signing admitted on Tuesday that he had anticipated contact in at least one of the instances, but insists his actions were instinctive rather than deliberate.
"Technically maybe the second one was a dive," he said.
"But sometimes people don't understand when you are in full motion and a defender sticks his leg out but he brings it in, you've already seen that. You are always trying to adjust to get past him, but then that off-puts your balance."
"People may say 'they didn't touch you' but the intent was there and that's the difference between you do get a penalty and you don't get a penalty."
"It's not that we intend to dive but we see a lot quicker than everyone else sees. If that defender sticks his leg out, I see that but not everyone else."
Kewell rubbished any suggestions that either he or the Victory team are 'protected species' as suggested by former Victory man Pantelidis.
"Did you not see their first penalty?" he said in reference to the show of strength between Adrian Leijer and Todd Howarth which led to a spot kick for Glory.
"If (I'm a protected species) than why do I have bruises and scraped down my shin all the time. It's part and parcel of football, and you take the good with the bad."
Kewell said that with a match against Sydney just two days away, the players needed to learn from what went wrong in what has been universally been reviewed as one of the worst Victory performance in some time.
"We know we played terrible, We know we got battered. We can't think about it too much, but we have to at least know that from that experience we don't want to go through that again," he said.
"We are going to put it aside but not completely, only to a certain extent."
"It's been our team all season, one minute we are hot, the next we are cold, but the good thing about this team is that we are enthusiastic and we want to correct it."
Kewell said that the playing group fully supported new coach Jim Magilton's blunt assessment of them after the game, where he said fresh blood was needed.
Magilton has already made good on his word, signing exiled Socceroo defender Mark Milligan on a short-term deal and freeing up a marquee spot by coming to a mutual parting of ways with on loan Brazilian striker Ricardinho.