Brosque blasts 'harsh' criticism of Smeltz

Sydney FC skipper Alex Brosque has leapt to the defence of under-fire teammate Shane Smeltz in the wake of the horrific injury which left Mark Birighitti requiring 30 stitches.

Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Birighitti lost three teeth and had stitches placed in his chin and lips after receiving a trailing boot to the face from Smeltz in Saturday’s clash with Sydney FC.

Smeltz was involved in a similar incident in 2010 when Jets keeper Neil Young was left with a broken nose.

The latest incident has split opinions with FoxSports commentator Mark Bosnich critical of Smeltz on the Shootout program for not avoiding the contact.

Brosque hit back in response to the former Socceroos goalkeeper’s comments, labelling them harsh.

“I don’t think Bozza’s comments were warranted,” Brosque said.

“I think they were very harsh, especially knowing Smeltzy and knowing what he’s like.

“He still is quite distraught about it. He was very upset.

“The way he came in today, he was still talking about it, shows he cares about Birighitti and his health.

“He’s sad that it’s happened, but it’s happened and it’s an accident.”

Smeltz has avoided any sanction from the A-League match review panel following the incident with no report on Monday.