SUNDERLAND captain John O’Shea feels “common sense” will have been shown if Wes Brown’s red card against Stoke is overturned by the Football Association.
Black Cats defender Brown was controversially dismissed in the 36th minute of the 2-0 Premier League defeat at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday after making a sliding challenge on Charlie Adam.
Brown, travelling at considerable speed, won the ball with the tackle and replays showed any contact between the two players had been minimal.
Referee Kevin Friend’s decision that it was worthy of a red card left Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, whose team are bottom of the league, livid.
And giving his thoughts on the incident involving his centre-back partner Brown, O’Shea said: “When you see the replays of Wes’ tackle it’s frustrating, but obviously it’s one of those things.
“It’s so frustrating.
“We were a goal down at that stage but I thought we were in clear control of the game and it gave Stoke a massive, massive lift.
“The ref’s not had the best of days, has he?
“Hopefully the red card will get overturned.
“He took his time over it but he still managed to get it wrong because Wes has clearly won the ball. I don’t think he even touched Adam.”
A few seconds passed between the tackle on Adam – whose goal had put Stoke 1-0 up six minutes earlier – and Friend blowing his whistle.
The Stoke player continued running before going to ground off the pitch, and regarding Adam, O’Shea said: “The reaction from Charlie could have been a bit better.
“I think the reaction of their bench is what the ref has gone on, to be honest.”
Brown, 34, was starting a second successive top-flight game having not previously been in the first XI for a league fixture since January, 2012.
And O’Shea said: “You can imagine how gutted he is. He’s worked so hard to get back.
“Fingers crossed it will be overturned and he’ll be okay for next week.”
He added: “From what we’re hearing the linesman might have said he didn’t think it was a red card, I don’t know for certain.
“But with the position we’re in we can’t keep going on about decisions. We need to keep our own focus and work on that.
“We know what a player Wes is and with a bit of common sense, which we need at this time, it will be overturned.
“It’s fairly simple. These things can be overturned when people have made mistakes, so let’s just move on with it.”
Poyet, whose team conceded a second goal in the 81st minute when Steven Nzonzi scored, called after the game for an apology from referees’ chief Mike Riley – something West Brom boss Steve Clarke recently said he had received in relation to the penalty contentiously awarded to Chelsea in Albion’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Asked if he thought such an apology from Riley, the head of the Professional Match Officials Game Board (PGMOB), might come Sunderland’s way, O’Shea said: “We’ll wait and see. We have to move on.
“We’ve got a massive game against Aston Villa (away on Saturday) and it’s one we can get something from.”
With regard to Riley, it is understood that while there is every chance he will speak to the Black Cats this week, the details of that conversation, including any apology, will not be publicised by the PGMOB as it considers it a private matter – something it also felt in the West Brom case.