Barnsley centre-back Liam Kitching has taken to Twitter to say how he feels he’s let his Tykes teammates and manager down after receiving a retrospective three-game ban from the Football Association.
This suspension has come after an incident in the final 15 minutes of the South Yorkshire side’s 1-1 draw against Birmingham City last weekend involving the 21-year-old and Blues forward Chuks Aneke.
Kitching was deemed to have committed an act of ‘violent conduct’ by an independent panel after this flashpoint was missed by match officials at Oakwell – and after being caught on video – he will now miss the Tykes’ Championship fixtures against AFC Bournemouth, Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers.
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According to the Football Association’s statement, he accepted wrongdoing for this incident but felt the three-match ban was ‘clearly excessive’, submitting this as part of his case in an appeal.
However, the English governing body rejected this claim and Kitching will now be counting down the days until Barnsley’s fixture against Blackpool on September 25th, the match when he will be clear to return.
This news comes as a blow to a Barnsley side who are already missing Mads Juels Andersen, although the international break may give the 23-year-old sufficient time to return to full fitness and could be closing in on a return if his recovery is on schedule, potentially allowing him to take over from the suspended Kitching.
Regardless of this though, the 21-year-old feels as though he’s let the club down after last weekend’s moment of madness and taking to Twitter after the suspension was announced, he said: “Gutted.
“Feel like I’ve let the team and the gaffer down.
“However, I’ll learn from it and I’ll be backing the lads from the stands the next three games.”
After starting the season well, this will be a major blow for the 21-year-old because this headbutt on Chuks Aneke was completely avoidable and it has now cost him over 270 minutes of Championship football this season.
However, every football makes mistakes and the main thing is that he’s accepted his costly error. He may have submitted an appeal, but would any other footballer not do that if they’re desperate to get back on the pitch?
In the present moment, the Barnsley man needs to put this setback behind him and carry on working hard in training, because with Mads Juels Andersen and Michael Helik both potentially available soon, he may be in a tussle with Toby Sibbick for a place back in the starting lineup.
They also have Aapo Halme as an option at the back if Andersen isn’t ready for their clash against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium next weekend, so his absence isn’t a complete disaster.
And this blow may even turn out to be a positive for Kitching in the long-term, who will be mindful about losing his cool again with Championship minutes on the line.