Family misfortunes

SITO Castro will wave his family off today hoping their next visit will be more enjoyable and he can send them a postcard saying his red card has been rescinded.

By Derek Davis

SITO Castro will wave his family off today hoping their next visit will be more enjoyable and he can send them a postcard saying his red card has been rescinded.

The Spaniard had his parents, brother, sister and girlfriend over from Spain to watch him play but they have not seen the best of him.

During the family's 10-day stay they have seen him sent off twice and miss the Southampton game due to a one-match ban.


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Although his girlfriend is staying, the rest return home today while Sito sweats on the outcome of Ipswich's appeal against his dismissal in the East Anglian derby.

Sito is adamant he is innocent, insisting it was totally accidental as he and Kevin Lisbie crossed paths.

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He said: “I'm totally distraught by the sending-off and really angry about it.

“There is no way I was looking to foul him, I was looking across the pitch to the linesman and the player went down. I should not have been sent off.”

Blues boss Joe Royle confirmed Town would be appealing against the decision and has already spoken to referee Lee Mason, who promised he would look at a tape of the incident.

Royle said: “It looked at worse a tangle of legs and, after seeing it on replay, I'm not sure there was any contact. Either way, the ball was going through to our keeper anyway so there didn't look to be a goal-scoring opportunity.

“We will be appealing and I have spoken to the referee, who says the way he saw it Sito was the last man and fouled Lisbie deliberately.

“The referee says he saw it, although he did look at the linesman long and hard before giving his decision.”

Royle was delighted with his side's effort but bemoaned their failure to find the net for the third game in four.

He said: “The game hinged on one decision and, after starting brightly where we more than matched them, me played for 70 minutes with 10 men.

“I was very proud of my players. We have now played two of the relegated sides and it is fine lines. There was not too much between us.

“I was pleased with our performance but I was disappointed with the outcome and the manner of the loss but we are not getting the breaks.

“We played some great football, especially second half, but we could not score a goal and the cutting edge is missing.”

Royle is actively hunting a loan striker and hoped to have one in place this week, with Leeds United's Ian Moore and Robbie Blake being linked, along with 18-year-old Arsenal starlet Atruro Lupoli.

If Town fail in their appeal, Sito will miss the trips to Leeds United and Burnley, while David Healy of Leeds will also miss Saturday's clash after being sent off at QPR.

Sito is the first Blues' player to have been sent off in successive appearances and Ipswich's third red card in six weeks at the beginning of the season is also believed to be the worst disciplinary start they have had.

Town last had four red cards in the 2002/2003 season, when Pablo Counago was dismissed twice, while Hermann Hreidarsson and Chris Makin also saw red that season.

Sito's red card, which followed two yellows, at Sheffield United is not disputed but Town were unhappy with Richard Naylor's sending off at Millwall, which meant him missing the 4-0 drubbing by Preston.

Blues' fans are reminded that tonight's scheduled reserve match with Leicester City has been put back 48 hours and will be played at Portman Road, on Wednesday.

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