McDermott defends Long

15 February 2010 02:23
Reading boss Brian McDermott has defended striker Shane Long after he was shown a straight red card during Saturday's FA Cup fifth round draw against West Bromwich Albion. The front man received his marching orders after an over the ball challenge on Abdoulaye Meite early in the second-half. It was the Irishman's second dismissal of the season and as a result, Meite was forced out of the action. It looked to swing the game towards the Baggies, with the scores tied at 1-1, but sub Youssuf Mulumbu picked up two yellow cards within 15 minutes of coming on to make it ten-a-side. Jimmy Kebe opened the scoring inside ten seconds before Robert Koren equalised before the red card drama. Simon Church looked to have scored the winner for the Royals only for Joe Mattock to equalise at the death. Despite his dismissal, McDermott has leapt to the 23-year-old's defence, claiming it was a mistimed challenge rather than malevolent. He said: "He's gone for the ball, he's missed it and he's half a second late. The ref decided to send him off and that is his prerogative. "He's an honest player, he's not a malicious player so it's just one of those things. "I don't know (if it was the right decision) - the referee makes those decisions, I don't have to."

Source: ESA