Preston boss Alex Neil wants clarity on rules after Middlesbrough defender Daniel Ayala has red card overturned

Daniel Ayala is shown the red card by referee Keith Stroud
Daniel Ayala is shown the red card by referee Keith Stroud
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Preston boss Alex Neil has called for more clarity on what constitutes an out-of-control tackle.

In PNE’s 2-1 victory against Middlesbrough last week, Boro defender Daniel Ayala was sent-off for a challenge on Brandon Barker.

Ayala leaves the field in disgust but will now not be banned

Ayala leaves the field in disgust but will now not be banned

Ayala subsequently had the red card for serious foul play overturned on appeal to the FA.

Post-match, Neil admitted it had been a controversial call from referee Keith Stroud.

Speaking since then, Neil wants more help for referees in sorting out the ‘grey area’.

Neil told the Post: “I think 90% of referees up and down the country would disagree with the red card being overturned.

“This is where the grey area comes in.

“Referees have a really tough job and need assistance on this.

“People you talk to over the red card in our game are split over it.

“There will be a group of people who say it as never a foul, that is the way the game was played in the good old days. The fact is, we are not in the good old days anymore.

“If rules are put in place, we need to clarify them and give the referees the best chance to officiate.

“These guys are getting crucified week in, week out for decisions.

“If we had 10 people sat in the room talking about last week’s red card, you would probably see five in favour of it being a sending-off and five who are not.

“The best thing that can be done is to make the rules as clear as possible.”

Ayala’s sending-off was the turning point of PNE’s visit to the Riverside Stadium.

Paul Gallagher scored the equaliser from the resulting free-kick.

North End then took hold of the game and substitute Jayden Stockley headed the winner nine minutes from time.

They followed that up with Saturday’s 1-0 home victory over Birmingham.