Yeovil Town manager Darren Way has said that the club couldn't take the risk of picking up an additional suspension for defender Tom James, when he considered whether to appeal against the defender's red card. The 22 year old was dismissed midway through the first half of Tuesday night's 1-0 defeat against Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road for a straight foul on Robins winger Alex Addai, leading to an angry reaction from the Glovers boss who was also given his marching orders in the aftermath.
Speaking after Tuesday night's match, Way was firm in stating that the club would be appealing against the decision, however he has since modified his stance on the situation. Perhaps mindful of him getting his fingers burned during a January 2018 appeal against an Otis Khan dismissal, that saw the Football Association add an extra two games on top of the standard punishment, on the grounds that they saw the appeal as frivolous, Way has told BBC Somerset that it was too risky for the club to appeal, although he still felt aggrieved at the decision, and the disallowed goal James had netted from earlier in the game:
"We can't afford to take the risk, in the position that we're in, because we can't have him missing for more than four games. If it was worth the risk, then trust me, I'll take risks, and the football club would support me in that backing. But on this occasion, for the long term, and the objective of staying in the Football League, Tom is a massive part of that. We're talking a special talent with Tom and I think he's had it hard. He'd be on eight goals now. There was a disallowed goal that was perfect for me. I know that you could look at an infringment, or someone steps on someone's toe, but there was no-one in the line of the keeper, and it almost flew into the back of the net from 40 yards. I think he was frustrated. I think his timing was perhaps a little bit wrong, but I still think it stemmed back to a disallowed goal that should never have been - absolutely no chance."
Less than a minute after James was dismissed from the field of play, his manager joined him, with Fourth Official Keith Stroud reporting something that Way had said to referee Tim Robinson. The Glovers boss stated that he had not received any communication from the FA regarding the incident yet, although such cases usually take a week or two to come through, via the referee's report. Way described the incident as standing up for what he believed in, although admitted that he'd spoken to Stoke City boss Nathan Jones about his views on what he expected to happen in terms of any possible FA call-ups:
"I've spoken to previous managers that it's happened to. I've spoken to Nathan Jones today, who has probably dealt with the situation a few times. I'm making sure that I understand that situation myself. For me, I was trying to protect my player. I probably wouldn't have changed it, even now. It's the first time, where I thought my thoughts were right, because to have a goal disallowed, and to then send the same player off, for me that's unfair. You have to stand up for what you believe in. If they (the officials) are back at wherever they assess and they looked at that goal, they'd probably be disappointed at themselves that they disallowed it. You have to question yourself, in being the leader of the football club and taking the responsibility, and making sure that your actions are the right actions that have taken place. I probably wouldn't have changed what I'd done, but maybe changed what I'd said."
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