CHERRIES star Tommy Elphick has launched a blistering attack on Ryan Lowe and has branded the MK Dons striker “an absolute animal”.

Elphick was the victim of Lowe’s horrendous two-footed lunge during Cherries’ clash with the Dons on Saturday, a challenge he claims was pre-meditated.

Lowe’s vicious assault earned him a straight red card from referee Scott Mathieson and saw Elphick limp off after he had sustained damage to his shin and knee.

The defender has accused Lowe of acting like “a man possessed” and has also alleged he directed “inhumane” comments at some of his Cherries team-mates.

Elphick has also dismissed as a publicity stunt a post-match apology from Lowe, insisting the Dons player made no attempt to say sorry for his actions in person.

And in a no-holds-barred interview with the Daily Echo, Elphick, who is today due to have a scan to ascertain the full extent of the injury, says the tackle could have “snapped in half” his leg.

Speaking to the Echo last night, Elphick said: “I have never experienced anything like it. I don’t know what it was with the guy but he acted like an absolute animal from the first whistle. I never wind up an opponent because I don’t think there is any need for it. He was doing things I don’t agree with.

“There was an incident before the sending off and he sparked that as well. The pair of us went in for a challenge and we ended up in a bundle on the floor before he tried to stamp on me. He was saying things which were inhumane and was like a man possessed.

“I saw the tackle coming and he had tried to do me two or three times before. I saw him out of the corner of my eye and he jumped off the floor with two feet. If my leg had been planted, there is no doubt in my mind that he would have snapped it in half.

“Hopefully, I got lucky but we will have to wait and see what the scan shows. I was attempting a pass but when I saw him coming for me, I managed to turn it into a tackle and, hopefully, that saved me from breaking my leg.

“He was totally responsible and was bang out of order to put another professional at that sort of risk.

“He was struggling to compete and wasn’t good enough for us. I think that was why he got himself so wound up. But if he thinks lunging two-footed at another player was the answer then he didn’t deserve to be on the same pitch as us.

“Nothing he can say can take away from what he did. Apparently, he tried to apologise but I didn’t see him and I hung around the ground. I was in reception and the players’ lounge and was in the changing room for a long time getting treatment. If he had really wanted to apologise, he would have found me.”

Lowe, 34, was put up for interview by the MK Dons press office and was lauded for his actions by some sections of the media. He described the tackle as “outrageous” and said it was out of character. He offered an apology to “the fans, the club, my team-mates, my family and everyone associated with MK Dons” before adding he hoped “the lad was all right”.

Elphick said: “I think he even turned that in favour of himself and turned it into the Ryan Lowe Show. He said he was sickened and sorry about how he had let down his club and his family. Not once did he go out of his way to apologise to me so, again, he has been very crafty in his ways.

“They sent him out with the right intentions. He seems to have got a lot of credit for coming out and saying what he said. I think it is an absolute farce because there is more to it than what people think.

“I know what I saw and I know what he was saying to some of my team-mates. There is a mutual respect and he didn’t show any. It was disgusting what he was saying and it left a really bad taste in my mouth.”

Elphick, who declined to reveal what he alleges Lowe had said or to which players, added: “Potentially, it could have been career-threatening and still could be.

“He will have three games where he will have a bit of time off, get time to spend with his family, have a little break, maybe even a holiday and I will have to sit here and do rehab because of his stupidity and craziness. It was all down to the lack of class and ability he showed on the day.

“I can’t credit the referee enough for the way he dealt with the situation. In his powers, all he can do is show the red card. If anyone at the FA actually took the time to look at it, I think they would soon reconsider the length of his ban.”