‘Is his leg supposed to just drop off?’ – Hurst left fuming at Nsiala red card
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Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst was left fuming by the referee’s decision to send off Toto Nsiala at a crucial stage of this afternoon’s 2-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
Jeremy Simpson was quick to issue Nsiala his marching orders for a firm but completely fair challenge on Fernando Forestieri in the 75th minute.
The score was 1-1 at that stage and, moments later, Lucas Joao headed home what proved to be the Owls’ winner.
“I don’t feel I need to say anything,” said Hurst, whose side are bottom of the Championship table with just two points claimed from their opening five games.
“Everyone has seen it. I’m told their guys have said it’s a totally wrong decision. I’ll try and be careful with my words because it seems as though we can’t criticise when people get things wrong, which isn’t right to me. I criticise players, I’m sure people will criticise me if they feel I am getting things wrong... It’s his job and he’s got to do better than that.”
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Asked how much of affect the red card had on the game, the Blues boss replied: “I think a hell of a lot – it has to. Naturally it gives them that lift. It’s not long after when they score. Arguably our best header of the ball is off the pitch for the corner. Does he win that header if he’s on? No-one knows for certain, but it was in an area where he would have been and where he’d already won a couple of good headers.”
Will the Blues appeal the decision ahead of Sunday’s East Anglian derby against Norwich at Portman Road?
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“Everyone is telling me we should,” said Hurst. “But I’ve had decisions like this appealed in the past and they still don’t overturn them. It could be a room full of people making the decision and it just takes one person to think the opposite. There’s no guarantees.
“I don’t understand what the lad is supposed to do after winning the ball. Is his leg supposed to just drop off? Forestieri runs into him and actually kicks Toto.
“We had one with Jon Nolan. (Barry) Bannan has gone sliding in, Nolan gets out the way and he gives a free-kick. Am I supposed to tell my player ‘look, it’s not nice, but stay on your feet, make sure he makes contact and then he gets sent off’? I don’t want to do that.”
Reflecting on his side’s performance, Hurst said: “Even with 10 I thought Wednesday were, not hanging on, but they were still relieved for the final whistle. They weren’t comfortable. They had a couple of situations, one with Ellis (Harrison) in particular and a couple of balls into the box where they just managed to clear the lines. And we didn’t have too many scares, in truth.
“It’s massively disappointing. This is yet another game where it’s difficult to give a true reflection.”
He continued: “The record books don’t say anything about performances. I’ll take a really scruffy victory at the minute – I think we all would. It’s difficult to think about too many positives when you’ve lost the game. It’s the manner we are losing which is difficult to take. It’s another frustrating afternoon.”
With both of Wednesday’s goals coming from corners, seven of the nine conceded under Hurst have come either directly or indirectly from set-pieces.
“You can keep working on them, but ultimately people have to do their jobs,” said the Blues boss.
“The second one we are a man light, but we still had people around it and the lad wins the header still. The first one, there’s no point hiding it, it’s Trev (Chalobah’s) man – he knows that and you can see it in his face at half-time. And that’s him having defended the previous one very well in a similar scenario. It’s far too easy for Joao to head it in.
“Things can often go in cycles. At the minutes that’s clearly something that’s causing us an issue, albeit some of the goals have been a little bit different. To lose with 10 men to that sort of goal today is extremely disappointing.”
With Tayo Edun having been controversially sent off against Aston Villa last weekend, and both of Derby’s goals having come via deflections in midweek, Hurst was asked if he felt his side was due a slice of good luck.
“People might say we had a bit of luck with our goal,” he admitted. “Ellis (Harrison) is in an offside position but doesn’t go for the ball. Maybe you’d have to get the referee in to explain that one. My understanding is it should be allowed because he’s making no attempt to play the ball. I can see why people get annoyed with things though because he’s in a position not too far away from the goalline.
“Overall though I don’t think we’ve been the luckiest of teams, shall we say.”
On being bottom of the table, he said: “No-one wants to be in that position. A few things have gone against us, but we’ve got to try and overcome that. At Rotherham, for example we should have won the game and that was down to ourselves and nothing else.
“There are some other bits, like you say, where it does feel we are being harshly treated. There is only us who can try and change that.
“There is no better time to attempt that than next Sunday against Norwich.”
He added: “It’s been a busy start, as it has for everybody. With the midweek games it’s difficult, especially with the travelling we have to do, when it comes to preparations. There are one or two things that we want to work on.
“There should be no need to get anyone up for that game next week. Let’s see if we can give everyone a lift and the Ipswich fans a result they have been waiting some time for.”