Martin O’Neill defends David Meyler after criticism from Tony Pulis

Jonathan Woodgate battles with David Meyler
Jonathan Woodgate battles with David Meyler
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STOKE CITY have confirmed they have appealed against Robert Huth’s dismissal against Sunderland.

Huth was dismissed on the stroke of half-time in Saturday’s clash at the Britannia Stadium after referee Martin Atkinson handed him a straight red card for lunging into Black Cats midfielder David Meyler.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis claimed Huth didn’t make contact with Meyler, although the Echo understands the Irishman is adamant that he was caught by the former Middlesbrough defender.

The Potters yesterday lodged an appeal with the FA as they attempt to overturn Huth’s three-game ban.

Pulis said: “We have studied all the evidence again and are convinced there was no intent. Robert was actually trying to pull out of the challenge.”

Meanwhile, Sunderland have responded to Pulis’ claims that Meyler made the most of Huth’s challenge in order to influence the referee’s decision.

Pulis bizarrely urged the PFA to take action to stamp out play-acting despite Meyler hitting the deck hard after riding Huth’s tackle.

Sunderland issued a statement yesterday defending Meyler after Black Cats boss Martin O’Neill had the opportunity to watch several replays of the incident.

“I thought at the time it was a red and I watched the incident back again on Sunday,” O’Neill told the club website. “It was a poor challenge and given the conditions, the referee had very little alternative.

“While Tony’s point about players in general has merit, David Meyler is absolutely and utterly not one of them.

“This young lad has had an injury-stricken career and naturally was doing his utmost to avoid the challenge. He was still caught though.”