Fulham Manager Roy Hodgson Rues Stephen Kelly Dismissal

Cottagers boss says Irishman should not have been sent off...
By Ricky Brooks

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has bemoaned the red card given to Stephen Kelly during the 1-1 Europa League draw with Roma on Thursday evening.

The Cottagers were a goal ahead, courtesy of Brede Hangeland's 24th-minute header, when Kelly was sent off for bringing down John Arne Riise in the penalty area.

Hangeland was initially dismissed before the match officials realised they had identified the wrong offender and ordered Kelly off the pitch.

Hodgson said that the confusion proved that the decision to brandish a red card was incorrect as the defender was not the last man.

He also questioned whether a foul was committed at all and suggested that although Mark Schwarzer saved Jeremy Menez's spot-kick, the dismissal contributed to the home side's failure to secure victory.

"I've got my grave doubts as to whether it was a penalty, but they get given in those situations when a player drives into the box," Hodgson told Five.

"They [the extra officials] got the wrong player with the red card but they should be making it clear that you can't give that as a last-man foul when someone [Hangeland] is coming across to cover.

"They brought their best players on, and we were short of numbers and we were short for a corner - which led to them equalising with the very last kick of the game.

"We had a marvellous first half - I thought we played very well. At half-time, we made some changes. But they bought on Mirko Vucinic and [David] Pizarro, two of their better players.

"It's very difficult to play with 10 men. But I thought the effort was magnificent, and it was cruel. After conceding a 92nd-minute goal with 10 men against West Ham, this is very hard to take."