Owls boss Monk felt van Aken dismissal was 'soft' and accuses Luton's players of getting his defender sent off

Referee Geoff Eltringham sent off Sheffield Wednesday's Joost van Aken at the weekendReferee Geoff Eltringham sent off Sheffield Wednesday's Joost van Aken at the weekend
Referee Geoff Eltringham sent off Sheffield Wednesday's Joost van Aken at the weekend
Sheffield Wednesday chief also disappointed by disallowed goal and late penalty not being awarded

Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk labelled the decision by referee Geoff Eltringham to send off defender Joost van Aken during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Luton Town as ‘soft’.

The Dutchman was shown a straight red on 71 minutes after a high challenge pole-axed Town’s Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu as he looked to break from inside his own half.

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Mpanzu swiftly made the Owls pay just a few moments later, rifling into the bottom corner after Rhys Norrington-Davies’ cross fell to him, but on the dismissal, Monk said: “We started to get a little bit more on top in the second half without being a clear threat but the red card was a big blow.

“It was a soft one. I don't think there was any malice in it.

“If you raise your leg, you give the referee a chance to make a decision.

“I don't know (if we will appeal), we would have to watch it back.

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“Watching it at the time, I thought at most it was going to be a yellow.

“The referee was pressurised by the reaction of the players which happens and he gave the red card.”

Owls midfielder Joey Pelupessy also felt van Aken's challenge should have led to a caution rather than an early bath, saying: "It happened quickly, but I didn’t have the feeling it was a red card.

"He didn’t stretch his leg and his studs weren’t coming into the player, when the ball was coming to him he was bending his knee.

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“In my opinion it was a yellow. I haven’t seen the video back yet but I didn’t see a red card."

However, Town chief Nathan Jones saw the incident differently though, saying: “For me it's a high tackle, and I don't want to comment too much as we benefited from that.

"I wouldn't want to talk about that as when you look at Sky Sports it’ll probably be Hatters beat 10 man Sheffield, but I thought we were excellent and that will take a shine off it.

“I thought we actually lost dominance when they went down to 10 men and it’s ironic that as then they started to run a bit harder and we just need to show quality.

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"It should have been more, we hit the post, we broke, picking the right pass, it could have been three or four and that’s what you really need to do as at this level.

"The level below we would have done that, but the opportunities are exactly the same.

"We debriefed this week, when there’s opportunities in the final third we have to put a ball into people and in League One we do it, the ball’s exactly the same in the Championship, it's just somehow we've got to make sure we demonstrate that quality."

The red card wasn’t the only decision that Monk felt aggrieved by, with Aden Flint seeing his header ruled out for an infringement and then Kadeem Harris's appeals for a late penalty after getting into a tangle with Martin Cranie falling on deaf ears.

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The Owls boss continued; “We had a disallowed goal for a mythological block, which wasn't there, we are not getting any favours at all.

“Kadz was pulled back and we didn't get that penalty decision.

“The red card kind of killed us but we actually had our best spell with the 10 men.

"We played with more urgency and speed, we put them under pressure but we need to get much better at our decision-making in the final third."

Jones wouldn't have been impressed had a spot-kick been awarded though, adding: "It was never a penalty, anyone can go down in the box and claim a penalty."