Lawrence: I deserved my red card

Liam Lawrence admits he deserved his red card at West Ham
Liam Lawrence admits he deserved his red card at West Ham
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Sol Campbell on his return to Fratton Park in December. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Liam Lawrence has admitted he deserved to walk at West Ham.

And Pompey boss Steve Cotterill revealed he privately addressed his captain over his dismissal at Upton Park – after publicly leaping to his defence.

Blues skipper Lawrence was dismissed for tackles on Henri Lansbury and David Bentley respectively as the Blues went down to a 4-3 loss to the title favourites on Saturday.

Lawrence said his first caution came after he ‘protected himself’ following a couple of early heavy tackles from Lansbury on his Blues team-mates.

Speaking at a BBC Radio Solent forum, Lawrence said: ‘For both tackles, I would say, yes (I deserved to be sent off).

‘For the first one, I’ve seen him coming in full pace.

‘I’d seen him follow through in a couple of tackles earlier in the game.

‘I went in to protect myself.

‘I scraped the top of the ball and went over it.

‘I know people are saying I went well over it. I was trying to protect myself because I thought he was going to do the same. But he pulled out at the last minute and it makes it look a bad one from me.

‘It was my first one in the game and it happened, so the ref booked me.

‘The second one, I’ve gone for the ball but he’s beat me to it and nicked it.

‘I’ve got him again. So it was two tackles in the game and I’ve been sent off.’

Cotterill explained he had spoken to Lawrence over his weekend dismissal, despite backing him in the game’s aftermath.

He said: ‘What I think and tell Liam Lawrence stays in my office.

‘You have to back your players publicly – I’ve always done that, even if they’re wrong.’