Jack Ross has slammed the FA over their bizarre decision to ban Max Power from tonight's Checkatrade Trophy clash against Stoke City.
Power will miss Sunderland's next three league games after the FA upheld the red card he received against Oxford United on Saturday.
But, Sunderland have also been advised that Power will be unavailable for selection for tonight’s game at the Stadium of Light.
And, it's a decision which has bewildered Sunderland manager Jack Ross.
“We felt the initial decision to send Max off was harsh. However, it has been heard fairly, and we have to accept the FA’s decision regarding the card," said Ross.
“What I cannot accept however, is that Max is banned from playing in tonight’s game, yet this does not count as part of his three-game suspension. It’s absolutely nonsensical and I’m sure everyone would agree with me on that.
“We are told that we must treat the Checkatrade Trophy with respect, which we have done so, and that it is a first-team competitive fixture, so my question is why does it not count towards his three-game suspension?
"We have been unfairly penalised with what is actually a four-game ban for our player, not a three-game ban as the rules state and I cannot understand how that can be the case.”
Power received a straight red card during Saturday's 1-1 draw for a challenge on Oxford attacker Marcus Browne.
Sunderland appealed the decision on Monday, but Power will now miss the League One fixtures against Fleetwood, Burton and Rochdale.
Oxford manager Karl Robinson also defended Power after the full-time whistle on Saturday.
"I love Max, he is a great kid and I have known him a long time," he said.
"I don't think it was a red. I thought [Bryan] Oviedo should have gone, he volleyed my player. [Shandon] Baptiste should have been sent off for a second booking but so should [Chris] Maguire.
"He got booked and then made four consecutive fouls. Their manager knows that, that's why he made the sub.
"The least sending off happened today, in my view. I feel sorry for Max but you won't get that overturned - not with our FA, they are not very good at it. It is a waste of time and money.
"There is no common sense within the disciplinary panel."