Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson has claimed that midfielder George Dobson won the ball despite receiving a red card in the opening fixture of the League One season.
The midfielder was shown the red card after he lunged in on Bristol Rovers player Jayden Mitchell-Lawson late on in the game.
The 22-year-old will now miss the next three Sunderland fixtures and he will hope that he can find a way to get back into the first XI after his suspension is over.
The Black Cats ended up drawing the fixture, and will now hope that they can build on what was a somewhat conservative start at the Stadium of Light.
Parkinson has expressed that he feels Dobson won the ball, although has admitted that it does give someone else an opportunity to impress in the coming weeks.
Speaking to the Shields Gazette, Parkinson said: “He won the ball.
“I thought at the time it was going to be a yellow, but the kind of manner of the challenge, sometimes they get interpreted as a red. It’s frustrating for George, but it will give someone else an opportunity.”
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It wasn’t necessarily a big moment in the match and in determining the outcome, but it was in terms of the next three games with Dobson missing from them dependant on whether an appeal will be processed.
The challenge wasn’t a poor one and he had all eyes on the ball but the follow through from the midfielder is what eventually made the referee pull out his red card.
Sunderland will hope they can win their next game of the season when they travel to last season’s play-off finalists in Oxford United.