Sheffield United manager Nigel Adkins has leapt to Che Adams’ defence after the youngster was sent-off during his team’s FA Cup victory over Oldham Athletic.
Referee Eddie Ilderton dismissed Adams for retaliation following a second-half confrontation with visiting captain Liam Kelly and is now set to miss crucial League One fixtures against Coventry City, Scunthorpe and Wigan Athletic.
But Adkins indicated United could appeal the decision after claiming his player had been harshly treated, saying: “I’ll have to take another look but I don’t think it was a sending-off.
“Their player boots him and another one comes in but, again, I’ll have to wait and see what the report says. Then we’ll see what happens. I don’t think there was any malice involved. We want to see a bit of competitiveness on the football pitch don’t we.”
Adkins, reflecting on the 67th minute incident, added: “I’ll have to read what the referee’s interpretation was. He’s shrugged him off, yes, but has his hands gone on the player’s face or his chest?
“Either way, I don’t believe there was any malice involved in what happened, Che was just trying to get on with things.
“As it stands, he’ll looking at three games out which, for what he’s done, I don’t think is warranted.”
Adkins also confirmed defender Bob Harris had been admitted to hospital with a potentially serious facial injury before Matt Done scored the only goal of Saturday’s second round tie.
Harris required lengthy treatment following a collision in United’s penalty area during the closing stages of the first-half.
“We’ve got excellent medical care here and we know there’s excellent care at the hospital too,” Adkins said. “I don’t know the full diagnosis yet but it’s never nice seeing somebody go off on a stretcher. It’s appearing to be a facial injury and, it goes without saying, our thoughts are with him. But he’s in the best place to get the right treatment and care. Until we get the full diagnosis, it would be wrong for me to comment any further.”