West Bromwich Albion midfielder Nigel Quashie will miss a major chunk of the relegation-threatened Baggies' run-in after the moment of madness that saw him sent off in yesterday's 2-0 home defeat to Middlesbrough.
Quashie, signed on the last day of January transfer window from Southampton, let his frustration get the better of him by kicking out at George Boateng, Boro's former Aston Villa midfielder.
On top of a red card he picked up earlier in the season for Southampton, that means an automatic three-match ban for violent conduct is increased to four games, starting with next Saturday's visit of Chelsea to The Hawthorns.
But Quashie continued his protests to the match officials as he made his way to the touch line. And, if the FA follow the same hard line taken with Birmingham City striker Emile Heskey last month, Quashie could find himself missing even more of Albion's 11 remaining games.
The club were concerned last night that referee Mike Dean will include in his match report the fact that Quashie may have verbally abused one of the match officials as he left the field.
For the moment, he will have to contend only with the wrath of his manager Bryan Robson.
"I'm disappointed with the indiscipline shown by Nigel Quashie," said Robson. "He's let us and himself down.
"I don't think what he did was really violent. But it was a sending off. He had a kick at Boateng and the ref was right to give him a red card.
"You can't have room for ill discipline in the squad. It's not just the game today. It's the four games that he will now miss and he'll be fined.
"When you think what we did with ten men in that second half, think what we might have done with 11 men."
Quashie's red card marred a grim day at The Hawthorns which has left Albion five points adrift of the pack and now only three clear of Birmingham City.
But Robson remains positive, comforted by the events of last season, and insisting that there is a long way to go.
He remains adamant that Aston Villa and Middlesbrough - his old club - can still be dragged into the equation. And he also maintains that it is not simply a battle between the Baggies and the Blues - who meet at St Andrew's in 12 days' time - to avoid the final relegation place.
"We've been in a worse position last season to where we are now," said Robson. "As long as you can keep it to six points, the teams around are still in the fight.
"Steve [Bruce] can go to Boro and win next week, and then all of a sudden Boro are back in it.
"This was a setback for us, but teams like Villa and Boro are still in the relegation fight and I'm sure their managers would agree.
"On days like this, you've got to try and take the pluses and I thought our general play was pretty good.
"I was pleased with the lads' character the way they stuck at it, especially after we were down to ten men and I thought we by far the better team. We passed the ball well and had them on the back foot, but with no cutting edge.
"Boro have had three shots and scored twice, one with a bit of fortune and the other with real bad play by us. But, in the Premiership, if you give away goals cheaply as we did for the first goal, it's hard to get back in the game. It was a really poor goal to give away." ..SUPL: