Some three weeks after he saw red in the 2-0 defeat to Southampton at Carrow Road, City star Darel Russell still can’t believe a certain R Booth sent him for an early bath.
Given a straight red for alleged serious foul play after a 50-50 challenge with Morgan Schneiderlin, Russell was forced to miss the three victories over Southend, Oldham and Yeovil.
After appealing the decision, hopes were high that the sending off would be rescinded. But it wasn’t to be and it’s fair to say that the Canary midfielder still feels a little aggrieved.
“I don’t really know what you have got to do for a tackle to be honest. I was favourite to win the ball and I was guiding on to who I thought was Chris Martin at the time but turned out to be Simon Lappin.
“The lad has run in from behind and run into me and somehow the referee has decided to send me off. We tried to appeal it and I don’t know how it hasn’t been overturned.
“I have spoken with an assessor who said it should not have been a red card. So I don’t know why nothing was done about it.
“It was extremely disappointing. It cost me playing time but thank goodness the team have done well without me”
Russell has certainly been a committed player during both his spells in the yellow and green but he’s not about to change his ways.
Far from it – that’s what makes the Londoner the player he is.
“We had some people up at the training ground on the Friday before [the sending off] and some fans asked me why I’ve been so good at not getting sent off this year!
“I don’t know if it jinxed me or what but I said then that I would not change the way I play. It takes something away from me – I have to go in and win balls.
“If I start thinking or considering things every time I go in for a ball, or thinking I’m going to get sent off, it will take something away from my game and affect the team.”
But Russell is back in business now and ready to come straight back into the team at Huddersfield today, even though it is far from certain he will win his place back at the first attempt.
Everyone to a man was excellent against Yeovil last weekend but with the Terriers’ attacking prowess, City chief Paul Lambert may decide that a central midfield partnership of Korey Smith and Wes Hoolahan is slightly gung-ho.
Saying that, Lambert has never been shy with his team selections and they may want to fight fire with fire and match Town’s goal threat.
One thing is for sure, Russell isn’t counting any chickens. He’s prepared to fight his way back in like anyone else.
“It’s difficult you know – the lads have been fantastic so far. You have to do the best you can in training and try and get yourself back in playing again.
“When the time comes again I’m still hungry to show what I can do for the rest of the season. There are not many games left and we would like to reach our aim [promotion] and get it put to bed really.”
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