Nigel Clough: No message to ball boys to slow game down
DERBY County say there is no instruction to their ball boys to waste time during matches.
This follows the controversy on Wednesday night when Chelsea's Eden Hazard was sent off for appearing to kick a Swansea City ball boy during the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg.
A national newspaper yesterday reported an incident in December 2000 during Jim Smith's reign as Derby manager when a ball boy ended up "wrestling" with Gordon Strachan, who was manager of Coventry City at the time.
Derby led the Premiership fixture 1-0 when the ball went out of play late in the game and close to the away dugout.
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The ball boy took his time retrieving the ball and Strachan intervened. The Scot moved down the touchline and knocked the ball out of the ball boy's hands in a bid to restart play.
Nick Hannibal, the ball boy in question, claimed in the newspaper article that there was an instruction to delay returning the ball when Derby were ahead.
But current Rams boss Nigel Clough stressed the job of ball boys is to return the ball as quickly as possible.
"The policy with our ball boys is simple, to return to the ball as quickly as possible and get on with the game regardless of what the scoreline is during the 90 minutes," said Clough.
"There's certainly no message from us that our ball boys should slow the game down or anything like that if we're in front, or waste time.
"We don't aim to resort to those levels and nor do we intend to either."