Birmingham City plan to appeal against the contentious red card that was shown to goalkeeper Maik Taylor during yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Plymouth Argyle at St Andrew’s.
Manager Alex McLeish explained his club’s intentions after his side’s draw kept them in the Championship’s automatic promotion places due to results elsewhere going in their favour.
Taylor was given his marching orders by referee Michael Oliver in the 23rd minute while Plymouth were awarded a penalty that Paul Gallagher converted.
However, replays showed that the incident took place outside of the penalty area and that Taylor looked to have tackled Plymouth’s Jamie Mackie fairly.
Plymouth manager Paul Sturrock agreed that Taylor had been unfortunate and his opposite number insisted that Blues will look to appeal on the grounds of wrongful dismissal.
McLeish said: “I’ve seen only one angle of the penalty and it’s not even in the box first and foremost which means it’s not a penalty. Maik thinks that he kicked it off the lad, it was a 50-50 ball, the two of them went for it and you can’t avoid anybody that close in on a challenge. So we will be claiming wrongful dismissal, we will be appealing.
“The referee has not said a thing and we’ve not had his report, our club secretary was waiting on it. It is not violent conduct, absolutely not. Violent conduct would be ludicrous and I don’t know why anyone would even claim that. It’s a 50-50 ball. We hope there’s no suspension – we feel it is the wrong decision.”
The penalty wasn’t the only talking point of the draw, courtesy of Franck Queudrue’s second-half equaliser, as Blues centre-half Liam Ridgewell was rushed to hospital in the first half having broken his left leg following an innocuous challenge with Mackie. “‘Ridge’ is not good,” McLeish said. “I don’t know the full report but it seems he has bust his leg, it’s a broken bone in his leg. I don’t know to which extent but it’s suffice to say his season is over. I don’t think it is anybody’s fault, it’s maybe just the way he landed. His knee seemed a bit open at the time as he played the pass and I felt at the time that it was probably a knee ligament injury with the way it seemed to happen. But he’s bust his leg.”
Despite the two lost points McLeish was happy with how his ten men performed to overcome their numerical advantage and ensure that yesterday wasn’t a complete disaster for Birmingham. “I’m proud of the players,” he said, “their efforts, their spirit, their heart, the fire in their belly. They were absolutely knackered, having ten men against Wolves took its toll on the weekend (against Charlton), truth be told. We were a bit leggy on the weekend but against Plymouth we found another spark.”