Jol bemoans Hangeland red card following Fulham loss

The boss believes the decision to dismiss his captain was incorrect and crucial to the final result, while revealing Bryan Ruiz and Alex Kacaniklic face three weeks out injured

Fulham manager Martin Jol has bemoaned referee Lee Probert’s decision to send off captain Brede Hangeland during his side's 3-1 defeat to Sunderland at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

The centre-back was shown a straight red card after just 31 minutes following a challenge on Lee Cattermole.

The Cottagers went on to lose the game thanks to three second-half goals from the visitors and, speaking in the aftermath of the game, the 57-year-old suggested a lack of consistency from Probert.

"There were more incidents. There were one or two players with four or five fouls before he booked them in the first half," Jol told reporters.

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"[Probert] was probably the only one in the stadium who thought that was a red card.

"But by the letter of the law, two feet off the ground is a red card. But he slipped with his right foot, he was under the ball, not over it, and then his second leg came. I don't think it was a red card."

Jol believes the loss of his skipper so early in the game cost his side a possible win, and that the absence of Hangeland during the next three games will be substantial.

He continued: "Most of the referees played football themselves, hopefully, so it would be nice if they could sometimes make it in the spirit of the game. This was not a red card and it messed us up."

"It's a big blow. Maybe they will give him one match but I think it will be three."

Jol also confirmed that substituted duo Bryan Ruiz and Alex Kacaniklic will be out for "at least" three weeks due to injury, while Mahamadou Diarra could return from a hamstring problem next week against Stoke City.