Jim to decide today whether to appeal

JIM Magilton will decide this morning whether to appeal against Liam Trotter's sending off.

Derek Davis

JIM Magilton will decide this morning whether to appeal against Liam Trotter's sending off.

For the second year running Town were dumped out of the FA Cup in a 1-0 defeat to a Premier League side after having a man wrongfully sent off.

Last year it was George O'Callaghan at Watford with the red card by Steve Bennett later overturned.

Magilton pulled no punches as he lambasted referee Mark Halsey and Portsmouth coach Joe Jordan after Trotter was dismissed for a tackle on Pedro Mendes.

He said: “Liam was inconsolable because he feels he has let everyone down and he has not. The referee had told him he was just getting booked but Joe Jordan was in the fourth official's ear telling him it was straight red so we thank Joe Jordan for that.

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“If he has influenced an experienced referee then we are in trouble - but he has not helped the situation.

“An experienced referee deals with that. I spoke to the official at half time but he told me he is a professional and he is 100% right so that is what we are dealing with.

“We had the same thing last year when Mr Bennett told me he was 100% right, we appealed and he was 100% wrong.”

Trotter's team-mates have all backed him and his manager has encouraged him to carry on making challenges.

Magilton said: “He is a midfield player and I expect him to go and tackle.

“He is 19 years of age and I want him to go and tackle and I want him to be aggressive.

“He has not got a malicious bone in his body, the boy - I wish he had.”

Pompey went on to win 1-0 in an entertaining enough game and the Premiership side were rattled late on.

Magilton said: “The sending-off probably took an edge off Portsmouth because they were then expected to go and canter through the game and they were probably not as good with the ball as they have been away from home.

“Maybe one or two of them switched off today because they thought it was going to be an easy enough day for them. We made it difficult though, which is all we can ask of ourselves.

“It wasn't going to be an easy day anyway against Premier League opposition but to go down to 10 men and play in the manner in which we played was fantastic and we deserve an awful lot of credit for that,” he said.

“I'm immensely proud of them and they really took the game to Portsmouth. I think the keeper has made three world class saves so it was a really positive performance from us after a very dubious sending-off.”

With promotion challengers Stoke at Portman Road on Saturday, Magilton hopes Town can use this performance as a springboard.

He added: “I learned that we have got a lot of character in the dressing room.

“They've got a lot of quality but they will recognise that it's a different level and they'll know they have to be fitter and stronger.”