Birmingham City striker Emile Heskey has moved to alleviate his club's selection problems by admitting a Football Association charge of improper conduct.
The striker's guilty plea, to an incident that stemmed from his behaviour following his sending-off in Saturday's home Premiership clash with Arsenal, is likely to placate the FA's disciplin ary committee and should ensure they do not extend the automatic one game ban he picked up.
In theory, however, they retain the right to lengthen his suspension although a fine and or warning are the more likely outcomes from a personal hearing on Friday.
That will ease the problems of manager Steve Bruce, who had his squad halved in size for last night's FA Cup match with Reading.
Heskey was given his marching orders for two bookable offences but refused to leave the pitch promptly and twice motioned towards referee Mike Riley.
He also confronted fourth official Phil Dowd on the touchline before being shepherded away to the dressing rooms by Blues manager Steve Bruce.
The FA charge referred to Heskey "failing to leave the field of play promptly and approaching the match officials in an aggressive manner and using abusive language.
Bruce was critical after the game of the decision to send off Heskey for challenges on Philippe Senderos and Mathieu Flamini, and he claimed Heskey's frustrations were justified.