Date: 24th March 2008 at 10:25am
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Clarke Carlisle was sent off in the last minute of the match against Preston at Deepdale on Saturday for a reckless lunge and looks set to miss the games against Barnsley, Norwich and Sheffield United. This could be a blow to our slim chances of reaching the play-offs.

Owen Coyle however believes this could be a harsh decision and will look at footage of the incident before deciding whether to appeal or not.

He had this to say about the sending off:

‘I was thirty yards away and I really don’t think there was any malice in the tackle. I spoke to the referee and told him I thought it could have been dealt with better. Clarke did lunge for the ball but I probably thought a yellow would have sufficed. I will need to see it again before we think about an appeal.’

I suppose there is still a mathematical chance of reaching the play-offs but by Coyle’s own admission we will probably need to now win all our remaining six games to stand any chance of finishing in the sixth place spot up for grabs.

Coyle is quoted as saying:

‘There are six games to go now and to be honest we would have to win a minimum of five and probably all six. Having said that, the players have shown when they are tuned in and not giving away soft goals that they are capable of doing that.’

In order to achieve that mammoth task, we would probably need Clarke Carlisle in the back four. He has been one of our more influential defenders this season although he certainly blotted his copy book in our last home match against Wolves with a dodgy backpass that led to their second goal in the 3-1 defeat.

An appeal is probably worth progressing but we shall see if Owen Coyle thinks the effort is worth it or not.