GUS POYET has spoken with referees chief Mike Riley over the red card howler which cost Sunderland dearly at Stoke City.
Sunderland were yesterday successful in their appeal over Wes Brown’s sending-off at the Britannia Stadium after the FA’s disciplinary panel reversed referee Kevin Friend’s decision.
The former England international has escaped a three-match ban and will be available for Saturday’s trip to Aston Villa, together with next week’s Stadium of Light encounters with Chelsea and Spurs.
Poyet had called for a personal apology from Riley, manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board, at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday after Friend sent off Brown for a perfectly-timed challenge on Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam.
And after Sunderland prevailed in their bid to have Brown’s dismissal rescinded yesterday, the Black Cats confirmed that Poyet has spoken to Riley, albeit the head coach has not revealed the details of their conversation.
Poyet said: “I would like to express my thanks to the panel for giving the matter their consideration.
“Naturally we are delighted with their decision, which is fair and just.
“I have spoken with Mike Riley and whilst the details of our conversation will remain private, I am satisfied with yesterday’s outcome.
“Of course it was hugely frustrating to have Wes sent off, but we accept that officials are only human and like everyone, they can make mistakes.
“Having the red card rescinded goes some way to rectifying the error and we are delighted to have Wes available for Saturday’s game at Aston Villa.”
Poyet’s conversation with Riley follows West Brom manager Steve Clarke’s revelation last week that he had received an apology from the referees boss over Andre Marriner’s decision to award Chelsea a last-gasp penalty against the Baggies at Stamford Bridge.
The Uruguayan asked for a similar call from Riley after Friend’s clanger, with the Leicestershire-based official subsequently dropped from the list of referees for the next two rounds of Premier League games.
“They call a British manager to say ‘sorry’, maybe it is time to call a foreign manager, and we can make it one-one and move on,” said Poyet last weekend.
“I think it would be a good thing in general to ring and apologise.”
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace have been unsuccessful in their appeal against the red card shown to midfielder Yannick Bolasie after he was sent off at Hull on Saturday.