Steve Bruce has lodged an appeal against the red card that Damien Johnson received during Birmingham City's match away to Liverpool on Wednesday night. A decision will be made today.
Johnson, the Northern Ireland international midfield player, was sent off for serious foul play after tackling Daniel Agger in the centre of the pitch in the 38th minute. Uriah Rennie, the Sheffield-based referee, had no hesitation is showing Johnson the red card.
Birmingham showed great fortitude to draw 1-1 - they equalised in the last minute through an own goal by Xabi Alonso - but they were enjoying much of the possession before Johnson was dismissed.
Bruce, the Birmingham manager, was proud of his players' efforts and stopped short of criticising Rennie. He is hopeful, however, that the referee admits to making a mistake and Johnson can escape a ban.
"Both lads are tackling for the ball, Damien actually got it and he is trying to keep his foot away from the lad with his follow through," Bruce said. "They are both with their feet off the floor; it's a horrible one but these things happen.
"But to wave the red card was harsh. I hope he [the referee] will take another look at it. I have seen the replays, six times, and it is definitely not a red card. We had more than enough other problems before the sending-off so to hang on like that was excellent.
"Since the debacle at Manchester City [Birmingham lost 4-1 on December 17], we have picked up and improved. This result can turn the corner for us, and it is no coincidence we have our top play-ers back. So the worry is that we have lost some again while we were looking the better team. But if we can keep this up I am sure we will be OK."
Liverpool took the lead through Steven Gerrard's 17th goal of the season, but Birmingham refused to give up and were rewarded when Alonso gave away a freak own goal.
Blues have submitted a claim for wrongful dismissal to the Football Association Compliance Department. The red card results in an immediate three-match ban but Birmingham hope to overturn this.
The fast-track disciplinary panel will review the submission and video evidence today, after which the club will be notified of their decision.
"I was shocked by the decision," Johnson said. "He [the referee] went for his pocket to get his card straight away.
When he produced the red I was lying on the ground and just threw my hands up in disbelief.
"I honestly have no idea why he thought the challenge was worth a sending-off. Usually when someone gets sent off it's when they have left the ground and two feet are showing in the tackle. That wasn't the case. The lad got up again. I didn't hurt him badly or anything. I can't even remember if there was a reaction from their players.
Usually if there is that's an indication of how serious it is. Hopefully he will rescind it."
Bruce is hopeful that David Dunn's calf injury is not serious enough to result in the Birmingham winger missing any more matches. Dunn limped off in the first half and initial fears were that he had injured his hamstring.
However, the news was more encouraging and the hamstring problems that have dogged the player for two years are not affected.