Sunderland’s Brown hopes to move on from Stoke dismissal

Wes Brown
Wes Brown
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WES BROWN says he’s “all happy now” after the controversy which dogged his dismissal at Stoke City, writes CHRIS YOUNG.

Centre-half Brown again shone in Saturday’s stalemate at Aston Villa – in a game which the former England international faced missing after he was sent off at the Britannia Stadium seven days earlier.

Referee Kevin Friend’s decision to show Brown only the second red card of his career prompted fierce criticism of the Leicestershire official, with some pundits branding it the worst sending-off in Premier League history.

But Sunderland’s successful appeal against the red card last week allowed Brown to feature and the 34-year-old helped the Black Cats secure a first away clean sheet of the season.

Brown said: “(The FA) have looked at it and it has been rescinded so I’m all happy now and we can move on.

“Obviously, I didn’t think it was a sending-off.

“I’ve watched it a few times now and I still think I won the ball and my two feet were on the floor.

“But it was a decision and the referee has either not seen it or seen it late and we have to get on with it now.”

A point at Villa Park stopped a run of five successive defeats on the road for Sunderland.

But the Black Cats’ wait for a first away goal since August continues after Gus Poyet’s side were left ruing Emanuele Giaccherini glaring miss from three yards, before Fabio Borini crashed a header against the bar.

Brown is encouraged by Sunderland’s defensive improvement, but says the whole team need to contribute towards ending their barren run on the road.

“We have to be as strong as we can,” added Brown.

“If you don’t concede any, then you won’t lose and that’s always a good starting point.

“If we can help out getting some goals up front, getting some opportunities up there, then all the better.

“It’s been something we have been aware of and in two of the last three games we’ve not done that (conceded).

“It’s not just the defence, it’s the whole team. We have tried to work on a few things and, to be fair, we could have nicked it. We have had the best chances.”