Gunnarsson deserved to get his marching orders
PUBLISHED: 10:38 20 December 2010
Focus Images 2010
Coventry manager Aidy Boothroyd took the unusual step of backing a referee's decision to send off one of his players in the 2-1 home defeat by the Canaries.
Midfielder Aron Gunnarsson was shown the red card 10 minutes before half-time at the Ricoh Arena for a two-footed challenge on loan player Henri Lansbury.
“The referee got it right because you can’t take both feet off the floor,” said Boothroyd.
“There was no malice in it because Aron is not that type of player but his studs were showing and I thought the referee was spot on.
“By the letter of the law you have to go and we would have been very, very lucky if he hadn’t been sent off. It’s Aron’s fault, he’ll take the punishment and we move on.
“There’s no point in me remonstrating with him or consoling him. As soon as somebody goes off, my job is to try to get the team organised and get a result.”
Boothroyd even defended Lansbury, who lay motionless on the turf after Gunnarsson’s challenge.
“The player makes a meal of it, but he is going to isn’t he?
“He wants us to have 10 men and I don’t have a go at him for that either. It’s professionalism,” he said.
Norwich boss Paul Lambert was less certain than Boothroyd about the sending-off.
“Whether it was a red card, I’m not so sure. I’d have to look again,” he said. “I’m not so sure the lad deserved to be sent off – sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. We just said to the lads ‘Try to keep 11 players on the pitch, we’ll have a better chance of winning it’.”
The Coventry boss felt, however, that his side should have had a penalty before they were reduced to 10 men.
“I can’t believe Clive Platt did not get a penalty for the second week running,” he said.
“We had a very strong shout for a penalty that included a roundhouse, forearm smash and a half-nelson but the referee didn’t give it so you need to move on and keep your focus.”
Former Norwich academy coach Boothroyd lamented his team’s marking as visiting skipper Grant Holt scored twice in the second half.
“It’s down to us. We left him free, we didn’t pick him up. We didn’t defend the cross effectively enough and we didn’t defend the corner effectively enough. We are very good at that generally,” he said.
“At the end, I’m very disappointed with the result, but it’s our fault, it’s not the referee’s fault.
“We have to be better than that if we’re going to be successful.”