'Not that type of player' - Stevenage's Nathan Thompson defended following red-card tackle on Portsmouth's Christian Saydee that horrified John Mousinho

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Nathan Thompson picked up his 13th red card of his career during Stevenage's New Year's Day visit to Fratton Park

Peterborough chairman and co-owner Darragh MacAnthony has defended Nathan Thompson following his red card in Stevenage’s 2-1 defeat against Pompey at Fratton Park.

The Irishman firmly believes the defender, who has played for both the Blues and Posh, had no malicious intent when he caught Christian Saydee with a high boot in the sixth minute of injury-time in the New Year’s Day game. He also insisted Thompson will be ‘gutted’ that he endangered a fellow player’s safety with a challenge that Pompey boss John Mousinho described as ‘one of the worst’ he had ever seen.

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Thompson, who was on a yellow card at the time following an earlier challenge on Blues keeper Will Norris, was automatically sent off by referee Charles Breakspear for the horror tackle. Meanwhile, Saydee had to be substituted as blood poured from a cut he received under his left eye.

MacAnthony initially joked that he didn’t believe 33-year-old Thompson had the capability of raising his leg so high. But taking a more serious approach to the incident, he wished Saydee a speedy recover and insisted Thompson had made an ‘honest’ mistake.

Speaking on the latest episode of The Hard Truth Podcast, MacAnthony said: ‘I saw Nathan’s impression of Kung Fu Panda! Fair play to him, I didn’t realise he could kick that high! 

‘But Nathan’s an honest player, he didn’t do that maliciously. He’s made a mistake, he got sent off, you could see he was contrite about it right afterwards with the referee. I hope the player is okay that he kicked.’

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He added: ‘S**t happens on a football pitch. You’ve got players who you know go out intentionally to hurt people and then you’ve got people like Nathan Thompson, who’s not that type of player.

‘He can make the odd mistake like that for red cards and he’s done it throughout his career, but he’ll be gutted more than anyone. Don’t forget he’s got Portsmouth history and he’s an experienced player in that Stevenage team and now they're going to lose him for a few games so that will be a big loss.’

Thompson’s red was his 13th of his career. The defender featured 78 times for Pompey between 2017-19, before racking up 131 appearances for Posh during a four-season spell at London Road. He joined Stevenage on a free transfer in the summer and linked up with brother Louis - another ex-Blues player - at the Lamex Stadium.

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