U’s boss McGreal still angry with Prosser decision
- Credit: Richard Blaxall / Pagepix
Colchester United boss, John McGreal, has experienced a mixture of emotions over the last few days.
It was always going to be a big day for McGreal, taking his Colchester side to Tranmere Rovers, the home-town club where his own footballing career took off as a trainee defender, culminating in more than 200 career appearances for the Prenton Park outfit.
But it addition to those emotions, McGreal had to contend with the frustration, and anger, at being told that his club captain, Luke Prosser was going to be suspended for this game, ostensibly for a mistake made by referee Ollie Yates during the previous weekend’s 3-1 win at Cheltenham Town.
Those negative feelings were counter-balanced by the pride and satisfaction in seeing his U’s side gain a deserved point from Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Rovers, but the Prosser incident was still rankling the 46-year-old after the final whistle.
Prosser’s absence must have been a bitter blow, especially as the news had only emerged on Thursday that he would not be allowed to play at Rovers.
Prosser had been overlooked for a yellow card at Cheltenham, in a case of mistaken identity – team-mate Ryan Jackson was flashed the yellow card instead – before the centre-half was booked shortly afterwards for a foul.
A retrospective red card and therefore a one-match suspension was very harsh on Prosser, and the U’s, especially as he would surely never have committed that second foul, if he knowingly been on a yellow card already.
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“After such adversity, I can’t commend my players enough,” insisted McGreal.
“I’ve had referees in my ear all week over the decision we had last week at Cheltenham.
“The standard of referees at times at this level is not good enough.
“I’m still fuming that Luke was suspended. The rules and regulations are really poor.
“I’ve had Phil Dowd on the phone at great length, I’ve had John Duncan on the phone and Graham Mackerel on the phone as well, all sympathising for what the referee did to us last week.
“But the rules prove that you have to abide by the laws of the FA. There was no case of an appeal or a hearing, just that Luke was suspended and that we’d have to move on, while the referee (Yates) gets to referee elsewhere.
“But I thought we were worthy of the 1-1 draw today,” added McGreal.