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SWINDON TOWN: Cooper adamant Byrne sending off was unjust
“HOW can the boy deserve to miss playing against Chelsea for that kind of challenge?”
Swindon Town manager Mark Cooper was very clear in explaining the reasons behind submitting an appeal to the Football Association against the red card handed to Nathan Byrne at MK Dons on Saturday.
The winger was dismissed by referee Stuart Attwell for a clumsy tackle on Shaun Williams six minutes after half-time in the 1-1 draw at stadium:mk, a decision Cooper was quick to criticise after the game.
After Attwell refused to rescind the dismissal post-match, Town were left with the option of simply letting Byrne sit out a three-game ban - including the visit of Premier League giants Chelsea in the Capital One Cup on September 24 - or ask the authorities to look at the incident again.
For Cooper, it was a no-brainer and Swindon appealed yesterday, as revealed on www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk. “I felt we had to appeal, especially for the player. We made the noises after the game that we thought it was harsh and we still think it’s not a red card,” Cooper told the Adver.
“If it was a yellow card no one would have complained.
“How can the boy deserve to miss playing against Chelsea for that kind of challenge, when you see the challenge on Jay McEveley (by Dele Alli) - which could have quite easily ended up with a serious injury - going unpunished?”
If the appeal is considered ‘frivolous’ by the FA, Byrne could face four games on the sidelines, although Cooper said he did not think such eventuality would come to pass.
Instead, he reiterated why he deemed the tackle unworthy of such severe punishment.
“We just don’t feel that it is a red card offence.
“We don’t think it’s a violent, reckless challenge,” he said.
“We think it’s mistimed, misjudged, tired and a genuine attempt to play the ball.
“The referee was in a good position but I just don’t see how it was a red card. You can see in the pictures that Nathan isn’t even looking at the guy, he’s completely focused on the ball and he’s watching the ball even as it’s kicked away.
“His natural momentum has carried his foot onto their guy’s foot. You’re talking about a split second.
“If it had been a second earlier Nathan would have got the ball and their lad would have been landing on Nathan’s foot.”
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