Team-mates rally round under-fire Jeronimo

STEVE LARKIN
Last updated 18:26 01/11/2012

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Adelaide United players have rallied around Argentine attacker Jeronimo Neumann to shield him from the fallout of the A-League's diving controversy.

Neumann's teammates believe the in-form striker hasn't been adversely affected by being branded a cheat by Wellington Phoenix for an alleged dive in Saturday's Hindmarsh Stadium fixture.

"I don't think it will affect him at all. If you look into our training, he's his normal self and enjoying it," Adelaide star Dario Vidosic told reporters on Thursday.

"In football, these things always happen and, in the end, a decision was made and I think it was the correct decision.

"That is just a part of football - everyone has completely forgotten about it.

"We're all around him and said not to worry - it will all work out, and it has.

"He has got all our support."

Neumann was called a cheat by Phoenix captain Andrew Durante for diving during Adelaide's 3-1 win.

But the Reds' striker was cleared by Football Federation Australia of simulation in an incident which led to Wellington defender Ben Sigmund being sent off.

The Phoenix lost an appeal against Sigmund's straight red card, angering coach Ricki Herbert who said his side were

"paying the penalty rather than the player who was guilty of simulation".
Neumann, who has scored three goals in his initial four A-League games - including two against the Phoenix - subsequently denied diving.

"There was contact there and it did slow him down," Vidosic said.

"It's up to the referee's decision.

"That is just football. Sometimes it rolls your way and sometimes it doesn't.

"It's also a big part of football to have that little bit of luck on your side."

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- AAP

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