Chris Herd has broken his silence on the farcical sending off that never was after his three-match suspension was overturned by the Football Association.
Herd’s red card from the weekend defeat to West Brom has been rescinded and he will be available for Villa’s trips to Sunderland and Tottenham and home clash to Norwich.
The Aussie utility man is relieved that referee Phil Dowd and assistant Darren Cann’s incorrect call has been reversed following the claret and blues’ appeal.
Herd has explained the tangle with Albion defender Jonas Olsson which led to the 36th minute dismissal was not a stamp and he was simply trying to free his leg.
“I’m over the moon with the decision from the FA to overturn the sending off,” he said. “I’m just pleased to be able to be available for this weekend.
“We got pulled together in the first incident and their player obviously ran into me and shoulder-barged me with his forearm so the referee pulled us and told us to cut it out and all the rest of it.
“We went back for the corner and he sort of came in and fell on to me.
“We got tangled up and his body was on mine. His arm was wrapped around my leg.
“So I just tried to get my leg free and get on with it. You can tell from his reaction that there was no malice in it or anything like that so I was quite surprised with the decision.”
Herd admits he was in a state of total shock when Dowd brandished a straight red card and awarded Albion a penalty in Saturday’s game and trudged off the pitch bemused.
“I was shocked,” he said. “Once you’ve been shown the red card you can’t take that away so I just walked off, but I was quite disappointed.
“We both just got up and ran off and then all of a sudden the whistle blew. I saw the linesman was flagging for a penalty. I was thinking ‘What’s going on here?’
“Then obviously the lineman’s had a word with the referee and he’s just showed me the red card.
“I think everyone was surprised when you see the replays on the telly. Obviously we just had to look over all the DVDs and come to the decision that we needed to appeal it. Thankfully we’ve done that and we’ve got the right outcome.
“We were all disappointed that we lost the game 2-1 and we were disappointed for the fans as well. But I think everyone’s seen it in the replay at home that night on Match of the Day and come to the conclusion that it wasn’t a sending off.
“I’ve had all my family and friends from back home on the phone and they were a bit baffled by it.”