PNE’s red-card appeal was no gamble

Kevin Davies sees red against Coventry
Kevin Davies sees red against Coventry
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Simon Grayson says that Preston North End felt ‘obliged’ to appeal against the red card shown to Kevin Davies in the weekend draw against Coventry.

The appeal to the FA fell on deaf ears, as they upheld the decision by referee Kevin Wright to dismiss Davies for a challenge on Andy Webster.

But there was no extra sanction against the striker for appealing, North End having taken advice beforehand over whether any appeal would be viewed as ‘frivolous’.

PNE boss Grayson told the Evening Post: “We appealed to see if we could get the red card overturned.

“The report had come through from the referee on Monday, saying that it was a reckless challenge by Kevin.

“That was something we did not agree with and we felt obliged to try and fight it.

“Deep down I didn’t think it would get overturned but I thought it was something worth pursuing.

“I spoke to David Allinson (PGMO referee’s manager) about it on Sunday morning, as well as one or two other incidents.

“We went through the right protocol and procedure and decided to appeal.

“Something we checked out with one or two people was whether there was a risk of an extra game ban for Kevin if we appealed.

“They told us that an appeal in this case wouldn’t be classed as frivolous.

“If there was another chance of Kevin getting another game’s ban on top, we wouldn’t have appealed.

“It is rare to see red cards get overturned but if you don’t try, you don’t succeed.

“With Kevin banned for three games, someone else now gets the shirt.

“He has been playing well and scored at the weekend but we have other options to play up there.

“Joe Garner is doing well, we’ve got Iain Hume and Paul Gallagher, and Stuart Beavon is back from illness.

“We have plenty of striking options for whatever system we decide to play against Nottingham Forest.”

While Davies has a reputation of being a physical player, the sending off was his first since 2006, when he got his marching orders playing for Bolton against Charlton.

All of PNE’s red cards this season have been for players operating in attacking roles.

Beavon was sent off against Barnet in November’s FA Cup tie for a studs-up tackle.

Then, top scorer Garner got a retrospective red for violent conduct at Port Vale, before Gallagher saw red against Bristol City.

Said Grayson: “I think we have been unfortunate with one or two things.

“Players get sent off more regularly for silly and innocuous things.

“There doesn’t seem to be much consistency at the moment. You look at Chelsea’s game against Manchester United last Sunday.

“One lad (Nemanja Vidic)got sent-off and another (Rafael) got a yellow card for a worse challenge.”

Meanwhile, Grayson says that his squad have moved on from the disappointment of conceding the 97th-minute equaliser against Coventry.

He said: “When they came in on Monday morning they were upset – not with the performance but the result.

“They have trained well since then and the focus is on Nottingham Forest on Friday.”