Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has revealed that referee Peter Bankes has admitted wrongdoing in sending Matt Crooks off against Reading on Saturday afternoon.
Boro slumped to a third defeat in four matches since the international break with a 1-0 loss at the Select Car Leasing Stadium thanks to Alen Halilovic’s 55th minute goal.
As the visitors were searching for a late equaliser, controversy arose with five minutes of normal time to play as Crooks went for a loose ball along with Royals stopper Luke Southwood.
It was a ball that was there to be won but the Middlesbrough attacking midfielder was adjudged to have fouled Southwood and the end result was a red card for Crooks for ‘serious foul play’.
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There looked to be little contact made with the goalkeeper by Crooks and Bankes was berated by Warnock in his post-match interview, and speaking in his pre-match press conference before Sheffield United’s trip to the Riverside, the veteran manager has revealed that Bankes has made an admission on the key flashpoint.
“I expect we’ll hear this afternoon or tomorrow morning at the latest,” Warnock said on if Crooks’ red card will be overturned, per the Northern Echo.
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“I don’t understand it really. I’ve already found out that the referee has said he definitely made a mistake, so if that’s the case, I don’t understand why we have to have committees and commissions really.
“If he’s admitted it’s a mistake and it shouldn’t have been a red, I don’t understand why we have to go through the whole process, but we do.”
It did look a poor decision at the time and if Bankes has really admitted his fault then it looks likely that Crooks will be available to face the Blades tomorrow evening.
Crooks not being sent off may or may not have impacted on the final result as Boro would have been chasing a point for 10 more minutes with an extra player on the pitch, but that is in the past now.
What can change though is the 27-year-old being available for tomorrow’s match with Slavisa Jokanovic’s side, and it sounds like the club fully expect to see the ban overturned and rightly so.
Crooks being in the team increases their chances of a good result as he brings a powerful threat at the top end of the pitch and if available he gives the United defence something to think about.