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Mokoena defends his style 04/05/05
Blackburn's combative midfielder Aaron Mokoena has defended his style of play amid criticism of some robustness.

The Bafana Bafana star and his Rovers team-mates have come in for some stick from opposition managers and players alike.

Mokoena himself was singled out after a tackle on Arjen Robben which ruled the Chelsea winger out for almost three months.

However, the 24-year-old has defended his style, saying: "I am not there to break people's legs.

"After the Chelsea game people were talking about it in a bad way, but I was really committed to the tackle and I could not pull out - he was unfortunate but it's part of the game, and part of my game especially.

"I can take criticism, that's how I play. We are there to compete, to get on top, you cannot relax and just hope it goes your way. We get criticism but we deal with it in a positive way."

As well as gold earrings and a chunky gold necklace, Mokoena has a gold-capped tooth imprinted with the letter 'A'. Is it for 'Aaron' or 'Africa', he was asked.

"You better ask Robbie Savage," he replied, "he says it's for 'Axe', my nickname.

"I got the name because they used to say I got stuck in there as hard as possible and put my foot where it hurts most.

"Do I like the name? It's what people judged me to be, I can't say I don't like it - it's part of my game and maybe it suits me too."

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