Southend midfielder Jean-Francois Christophe has denied punching former Shrimpers player Nicky Bailey during the defeat to Charlton on Friday night.

Christophe was sent-off for violent conduct for an off-the-ball incident at Roots Hall and Bailey claimed he was punched.

However, the Frenchman told the club's official website: "I just pushed him in the chest, I never hit him, and he fell to the floor like I had punched him in the face. The next thing I see is him rolling around like a dog and it was a bit embarrassing."

Christophe added: "I know I shouldn't have pushed him but the way he reacted, he knew exactly what he was doing, and it's bad for football and bad for us."

Charlton skipper Bailey has called his former Southend boss Steve Tilson a "disgrace" for accusing him of feigning injury during the clash.

Tilson branded Bailey's reaction to the incident "embarrassing", but the midfielder said: "I find his comments quite laughable. I was punched by one of the Southend players. To call me a cheat from 25 yards away at full-time and in all interviews after the game is a total disgrace.

"It was clearly stated that Tilson gave instructions to his team to wind me up and get me sent off. Cheating is not a word that I have ever been associated with.

"I still have many friends at Southend and just believe that Tilson was disappointed with the result, so someone had to take the flack."

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