MIDFIELDER Chris McCann leapt to the defence of team mate Dean Marney after his sending off proved costly against Birmingham.
Marney was harshly dismissed for a challenge on Blues’ Paul Robinson just after the hour, with the Clarets in the ascendancy having equalised.
Boss Sean Dyche was flabbergasted at the decision, and, indeed, Birmingham chief Lee Clark thought Robinson was the one who had been sent off.
City won the game in injury time, and McCann was left scratching his head: “I just thought maybe from Deano’s tackle in the first half maybe the referee had him in his mind a little bit.
“I thought they were two clean tackles – they were good, clean tackles as well, there was nothing malicious in them, it was just a strong tackle.
“I think most referees would have probably played on.
“I think it’s part and parcel of football, you’ve got to go in tough.
“To be fair to Dean he just went in to win the ball.
“He doesn’t have a malicious bone in him, he’s a fair player and unfortunately the referee saw otherwise.
“If the ball’s there to be won you’ve got to go and win it.
“Deano’s no exception to that. Unfortunately for us it didn’t go in our favour.
“We’ve just got to take it and move on.
“It was a frustrating afternoon for us.
“We thought we probably could have come out with a result but unfortunately we didn’t.”
McCann admits the game has changed: “It’s modern day football.
“You look back five or 10 years ago those tackles would have been perfectly fine.
“I think in this day and age people are protected a lot more, the referee deemed it a harsh enough tackle for a sending off.
“You’ve got to move on, what’s done is done.
“We’re disappointed to lose the game but we’ve just got to dust ourselves off and move on to next week and try to get on another run like we’ve been on.”
That run of four wins in five league games was knocked by defeat, but the Dubliner sees no reason why the side can’t mount another winning streak: “Definitely. We had four results (in five games) and moved up within striking range of the play-offs.
“That’s our aim. We want to be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get the result we wanted but there’s still a long way to go.
“You can’t just dwell on this game, you’ve got to move on as quickly as possible and try to get a positive result at Peterborough.
“If we go on another run like we went on we’re well in the mix.
“Every game’s a big game from now to the end of the season.
“We need to win every single game and not just rest on what we’ve done so far.
“There’s expectation at the club and we’ve got to live up to it.
“There’s always going to be pressure when you play and we want to do as best we can.
“We want to be in the top six come May.
“I think it’s just part and parcel of the game, there’s pressure every single week when you get out onto that pitch and we’ve got to handle it, and I’m sure we’re capable of doing that.”