Preston North End boss Alex Neil unhappy with 'harsh' red card for Ben Pearson in Sheffield Wednesday loss

Preston North End manager Alex Neil felt Ben Pearson's red card in the defeat to Sheffield Wednesday was 'really harsh'.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 22nd December 2018, 9:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 4:55 pm
Preston's players after conceding against Sheffield Wednesday
Preston's players after conceding against Sheffield Wednesday

Pearson got a straight red card in the 26th minute of the 1-0 reverse at Hillsborough for a challenge on Marco Matias.

Neil went as far to suggest that Pearson's reputation had gone before him, questioning whether fellow midfielders Paul Gallagher or Daniel Johnson would have been punished in the same way.

PNE will consider an appeal against the red card. If they do decide to do so, that appeal would be heard on Christmas Eve.

Preston's players after conceding against Sheffield Wednesday

Neil said: "A sending-off is always a turning point, the fact they have a man advantage is always going to change the flow of a match.

"If I'm being honest it wasn't a great game up to that point, we were wasteful with the ball and Sheffield Wednesday hasn't really had any part in the play.

"I'm not sure it was a sending-off either and if I'm being honest I don't think it was the only decision which went against us.

"Some of the decisions were horrific, the match was stop-start.

Ben Pearson is sent-off against Sheffield Wednesday s Darnell Fisher and Louis Moult look on

"We had three players booked for nothing.

"Declan Rudd went to take a goalkick, their lad read it and went towards it so naturally he couldn't play it, and he gets booked for time-wasting.

"Paul Huntington ran back towards his own goal, the lad runs across his path, they both fall over and he's booked.

"With Louis Moult, he had Michael Hector in his face and Louis is the only one booked.

Ben Pearson has a word with the fourth official after his red card

"Ben Pearson looks like he will miss four matches which is really harsh.

"If it was Paul Gallagher or Daniel Johnson making that tackle, I don't think it is a sending-off.

"I thought his reputation preceded him with that challenge."

Wednesday's winner came in the 62nd minute, Hector guiding home a cross from Adam Reach.

The home side were under the caretaker stewardship of Lee Bullen after Jos Luhukay on Friday afternoon.

Neil said: "I expected the start of the game to be scrappy, it was always going to be hustle and bustle because their manager had left and the fans have rallied.

"We never got the chance to see the game settle because the referee made a poor decision in my eyes to send a player off.

"From then on, we had to try and stifle the game because we were a man down.

"It wasn't pleasant viewing for anybody but we had to take an approach to try and get something from the game."