Coventry City manager Andy Thorn gave his younger players a stern rebuke following their poor performance against Burnley last week, but Gael Bigirimana came in for most of the condemnation as a result of his red card for a rash challenge on top of a mistake that led to Burnley's equaliser.
Thorn does not want to stifle his talented players, nor does he want to dent their confidence, but he does have to draw the line on acceptable and unacceptable behaviour and being sent off for an unnecessary challenge was most definitely unacceptable behaviour.
Speaking to the CT, Thorn explained, “It’s not so much a case of personal criticism but I like to be tough on talent. I don’t want them throwing away what they’ve got and they have responded to that.”
Gael Bigirimana was the main focus of Thorn's rebuke, partly because of his error that led to the goal, but mostly because of his sending off. Normally Thorn would fine his players for such indiscipline, but Bigirimana received a more unusual punishment, one he was happy to accept.
Thorn explained, “The girls in the office work hard on the paperwork for sendings-off and what have you so rather than fine Gael I have told him to look after them with some flowers and chocolates and stuff like that, and he’s accepted that.
“I’ve had a good chat with him and he’s back on it in training. It’s a learning curve for him and his biggest punishment is not being able to play football for three games. That hurt him the most, as well as letting his team-mates down.”