Why I pushed over medicBy Nick Ive
March 05, 2008
ANDRE BIKEY has spoken of his regret following his red-card shame which ruled him out of the African Cup of Nations Final last month.
The Royals defender was given his marching orders in stoppage time during Cameroon’s semi-final victory over Ghana when he shoved a medic to the ground as team-mate Rigobert Song was being treated.
Bikey revealed: “It’s not good for me to speak about it. Sometimes things happen and you don’t know why. I can call it a mistake.
“The television showed only what I did, but I’m sure if they had showed five minutes before my action then the people would see why I did it.
“The person (medic) did something wrong. He pushed our club doctor and I reacted.
“I know it was wrong (what I did), but I did it and now it’s in the past and I will try to forget about it and not speak about it.”
Bikey’s actions meant he missed the biggest game of his career – the final against Egypt, who went on to retain the trophy.
“It’s not easy to have played in every game and then miss the final,” admitted the 23-year-old. “You don’t get the chance to play in one every day. It would have been my first time in the final and I don’t know if I’ll get a chance in the future – I hope I do.
“But it’s finished now and I am just trying to help Reading stay in the Premiership.”
Bikey looks to have put his heartbreak behind him as he was recalled to the Royals team for Saturday’s 1-0 win at Middlesbrough.
It was only his 13th appearance of the season.
The former Lokomotiv Moscow star gave an impressive display in the heart of the defence as Steve Coppell’s men kept their first clean sheet in 20 Premier League matches.
“Every time I go with the national team I play,” said Bikey. “Before the African Cup I thought I showed my best.
“Maybe he (Coppell) trusted other players more, maybe I did something wrong. Only he knows why he left me on the bench, but now I forget about it.
“I wasn’t playing but I am a professional player and I respect the gaffer’s decision. If he leaves me out I’m not happy about it but I understand.
“If he doesn’t trust me 100 per cent and just 50 per cent maybe when I get the opportunity I try and give my best.”
Despite the victory at the Riverside, Royals remain in 18th position and Bikey admitted: “It’s important we focus because the situation we are in is very difficult. We need to win all our games at home and try and get a point away.
“We know we are not safe yet, but this victory was important because this win can change the mentality.
“Now all the players are ready to play against Manchester City.
“A clean sheet was important as well. We can now work on getting more discipline and more consistency in the home games.
“Everybody wants to play at the highest level. It’s important for me and everybody here.
“We have a lot of good players, we did well last season, but we have lost a lot of games this season.
“But if everyone concentrates we can stay in the Premiership because I think 34/35 points will be enough. We need to win three games from 10.
“If we do that then we will stay in the Premiership.”