Nigel Adkins has defended Jay Rodriguez, admitting there was no contact as he won the decisive penalty at Aston Villa but insisting his man didn’t dive.

Aston Villa were livid as Mark Halsey gave a penalty, converted by Rickie Lambert, that proved to be the difference in the huge relegation clash at Villa Park.

Rodriguez went down in the area without being touched by Edna Stevens but Adkins was adamant his man didn’t dive.

He said: “It’s not a dive.

“The lad would have kicked him.

“At the end of the day the challenge has come in and our player has evaded the challenge and the referee has had a decision to make and the referee has given a penalty.

“If the player hadn’t taken his leg out of the way there would have been clear contact and you can’t disagree with that.

“As there isn’t clear contact, and I’m not disagreeing with that, the referee had a decision to make but we could have had seven or eight this season we haven’t done.”

He added: “It’s a massive win for us away from home against a team close to us in the division.

“We were able to get three points and keep a clean sheet which is very pleasing.”