Stoke have united in their support of Ryan Shawcross after the horror tackle which broke the leg of Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey last night.
Shawcross was visibly distressed and left the field in tears after being sent off for a reckless challenge on Ramsey in the second half of Stoke's 3-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at the Britannia Stadium. Ramsey was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery in scenes reminiscent of those when Gunners team-mate Eduardo suffered a similarly horrific injury two years ago.
Pugh added: "Ryan has not gone in to hurt him. He is not a malicious kind of lad and does not go out to hurt anyone.
"I think Ryan has genuinely gone for the ball.
"It is just unfortunate that the lad has been hurt so badly."
Arsenal have confirmed Ramsey had suffered fractures to the tibia and fibula of his right leg and would miss the rest of the season at least.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger vented his fury at Shawcross after the game but opposite number Tony Pulis, while also condemning the tackle, defended Shawcross' character.
"Ryan Shawcross has no bad blood in him whatsoever," said Pulis.
"There is no way in a million years he would ever go out and try and hurt someone."
Shawcross was also quoted saying there was "absolutely no malice in the challenge" and he "would never, ever go out to hurt a fellow professional".
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