BURTON Albion will not appeal Ian Sharps’ red card against Oxford United on Saturday.
The 32-year-old centre-half was sent off after a dust-up with U’s striker Dave Kitson, with most at the Pirelli Stadium amazed when referee Michael Bull produced a red card.
Albion wanted to appeal the red card –and three-match ban – but video evidence has unfortunately proved inconclusive.
“We’ve studied the video,” said chairman Ben Robinson. “Unfortunately, we know what happened from talking to the players, but the video evidence is inconclusive to question the decision.”
Robinson, and most people at the Pirelli, including Gary Rowett, were fuming with the referee.
“I think everyone at Burton Albion is disappointed with the standard of refereeing at this particular game,” said Robinson. “It was a top-of-the-table clash and if anything we had the edge before this happened.”
On a more positive note for the club, Zander Diamond came through a behind-closed-doors game against Leicester City yesterday.
The 28-year-old centre-half has recovered from a damaged ligament in his foot and scored in the 1-1 draw at St George’s Park.
Albion put a strong side out for the match, with Mats Morch in goal, Diamond and Liam Slade at centre-half, Jack Dyer at right-back, Isaac Currie at left-back, Alex MacDonald on the right wing, Robbie Weir and Matty Palmer in the centre of midfield, Jimmy Phillips on the left and Michael Symes and Dominic Knowles up front.
“I think Zander’s fit enough (to play) now,” said Rowett. “He trained three days last week and it was always the plan for him to play in this game.
“We haven’t rushed him back and he did well in the game.
“They all played well - Dominic Knowles was bright and could’ve scored a few, Robbie Weir and Matty Palmer stood out in the centre of midfield and it was a really positive performance.”
With Sharps now banned for the visit of Portsmouth to the Pirelli on Saturday, the trip to AFC Wimbledon and the home clash with Scunthorpe, Rowett is glad Diamond is ready to return.
A dip into the loan market could yet happen, but it is not such a pressing matter.
“The one position we’re short of is a left-sided centre-half,” said the manager. “But there won’t be a rush to do that as we’ve got more than enough players who can play in there.”