Friday 23 February 2018

Coyle unhappy over Klasnic red

Bolton 2 Stoke 1

Ian Parkes

Bolton boss Owen Coyle believes Ivan Klasnic should not have seen red after going from hero to villain in a matter of minutes.

The closing stages proved to be a rollercoaster affair for Klasnic who scored the winner in the second minute of injury time, and 15 minutes after coming off the bench.

But in the moments that followed, the Croatia striker was handed two yellow cards and a subsequent red by referee Peter Walton, which means he will now miss next week's local derby at Wigan.

Klasnic was initially involved in a skirmish with Dean Whitehead in which he seemingly put his hand around the throat of the Stoke midfielder, although Coyle maintains he was merely pushing him away.

Then, the 29-year-old appeared to catch Rory Delap with an elbow, yet the caution in that instance was arguably harsh as they had both jumped for a high ball, with the winger clipped on the way down.

"He made an impression, and what an impression, because he was the matchwinner," said Coyle.

"The quality of Ivan's finish was there for everybody to see. It was an exquisite winner. The disappointment for him is he has received a red card on the back of that.

"The first yellow I can accept because he went out to help his pal who had been fouled, and then the second he has jumped early for the ball, with no intention of hurting anybody.

"To receive a yellow card, I thought, was very harsh. I don't know what the referee has seen, if he had a different angle.

Dismissing suggestions Klasnic was over-excited after his strike, turning sharply onto a long throw from Gretar Steinsson, Coyle added: "You should certainly be excited after scoring a goal like that.

"It will be a mixture of emotions he is feeling right now -- delight at being the matchwinner, and disappointment at being suspended for the next game."

Stoke came into the game on the back of three wins and a draw, yet after conceding a 23rd-minute opener to Lee Chung-Yong, were again asked to come from behind to salvage something.

That appeared to be the case when Delap ended a 21-month goal drought to haul Stoke level three minutes after the restart.

But then came the frenetic finish, one in which police were forced to intervene when rival fans clashed in a corner of the Reebok Stadium.

The goal was naturally a sickener for Stoke manager Tony Pulis. "To come in 1-0 down was desperately disappointing after we were so dangerous in the first half," he said.

"We had a good start to the second half, but we've no complaints with respect to their goal because we've thrown the ball in a lot and got our rewards.

Striker Ricardo Fuller, meanwhile, was taken to a local hospital with a suspected dislocated shoulder.

Sunday Independent

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