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Coventry boss fumes with Hamer accused of booting face of Birmingham’s Hannibal

Coventry City boss Mark Robins fumes with Gustavo Hamer accused of booting the face of Birmingham’s Hannibal Mejbri with the former sent off.

Robins described Hamer’s disciplinary record as “absolutely ridiculous” after the player was given marching orders for violent conduct at St Andrew’s on Saturday.

The Sky Blues playmaker had an otherwise impressive game in the goalless draw with Birmingham but was he was shown a straight red card after a tangle on the floor with Blues’ substitute Hannibal Mejbri in the 89th minute.

The dismissal means the 25-year-old will serve a four match ban, three for Saturday’s offence and an extra one because it comes as his second red of the season so far, having been sent off for two yellow cards at Millwall in August.

When questioned about the incident, Robins said: “I didn’t see it in real time. I have seen it subsequently and it looked to me like Mejbri has grabbed hold of his legs, grabbed hold of him and then rolled and he’s done whatever he has done and you can’t really see from what I have looked at. But the eagle-eyed officials have seen it and seen fit to send him off. And it’s violent conduct so he misses four games.”

He was then asked if the club are going to appeal the decision, the City boss said: “I don’t know, I don’t think so. Not from first look. I am going to speak to the referee and see what his view was but I don’t think he saw it. I think he was told something from the touchline but I have no idea. But they have spotted that, although there were a lot of things they didn’t spot in the game, but it is what it is and we just have to live with it.”

As for Hamer’s disciplinary record which saw him serve suspensions last season for getting 15 yellows, the manager added: “Ridiculous! Absolutely ridiculous! We need everyone fit and available and now that happens, so he has got to learn.

“He’s a key player, absolutely, he scored a brilliant goal on Wednesday night and in fairness to him he has been trying to do the right things in terms of working harder to get behind the ball rather than fouling. I think it crept into his game again today in terms of being past the ball and trying to win the ball back from behind it, and they run away and they clip their heels or whatever you are going to get booked, and that’s the danger. But prior to today I think he has been working hard on that part of his game.

“I think playing midweek had an impact because he was tiring, and I thought about taking him off but the fact that you have a quality player and taking him off and not having the same quality to go back on you are weakening yourself, so that’s the Catch 22 really. And then he gets sent off for something like that where someone has grabbed his legs.

“If someone grabs hold of your legs maybe you your body moves in that way, but I will speak to the referee.”

Put to him that it didn’t look malicious, more a lashing out in frustration, Robins added: “Yes, potentially, but it gives the referee a picture, or someone a picture, and if they feel that’s not right then you run the risk don’t you, and that’s what’s happened. And it’s a real shame that we’re talking about that more than the game.”

Birmingham’s John Eustace said: “I think to take 12 points from the first ten games is good, we are starting again at the club. There have been a lot of lows over the last two, three, four years but we are looking to rebuild. You look at all the positives out of the first ten games – the development of our academy players.

“We put them in the spotlight as well as getting results, we have gone toe to toe with three or four of the top teams in the league and we haven’t let ourselves down. There’s loads more to come from us definitely but that’s going to come from a lot of hard work. Overall I am happy with the 12 points and we will move on.

“It’s going to be a very difficult season, I know where we are as a group, I know where we can be. We need to get that consistency. To lose three on the bounce and show the character we have showed to then go unbeaten in the next three – that’s a good positive sign. But we are still very early. There is ten games gone, let’s see where we are in another ten.

“We have got a lot of games coming up, our squad is very thin. We have got injuries to a lot of players, will we have them coming into this real tough run of games when we come back? Probably not. So again we are going to ask a very young, inexperienced group to go head to head with a lot of experienced Championship teams. All I can say is we are going to be very competitive, keep working as hard as we can.

“I think the first half we had the best chance of the game, [Juninho] Bacuna should have put that away but overall a draw was probably a fair result. First half we were under a lot of pressure, we didn’t start the game very well although a lot of their chances were from distance. They did have one good opportunity.

“After Wednesday’s performance and the efforts the lads put in at The Hawthorns I always knew today’s game was going to be very, very difficult because Coventry are still a very good team – they are in a false position. We knew the task ahead.

“But the most important thing for me today was we didn’t lose the game. I thought defensively that second half we were much better, we were much more on the front and a lot more like ourselves. Maybe there is a bit of disappointment we didn’t win but I am delighted with the point.

“In the second half it was important the wing backs got more aggressive against their wing backs, our centre halves engaged quicker, our strikers were closer to their centre halves. We needed that bit more energy about the team. We certainly had that. At half time the lads drove that themselves, it was a much better performance second half and much more like us.”

The result keeps Coventry bottom of the Championship table with three points from 7 games, Birmingham sit in 17th with 12 points from 10 games.

Fans gave their verdict as the Coventry boss fumes with Gustavo Hamer accused of booting the face of Birmingham’s Hannibal Mejbri…

@Cigar_fingers: Am I the only one who thinks the Hamer red card was harsh? His legs were being held by the other guy and he was trying to get free to get up. Both were waving them about tbh #PUSB

@Wassy1987: Yeah I think it was harsh, really didn’t think it was a straight red

@andycparsons: I’d be challenging this red card because its all legs from both players and i think hamar is trying to wriggle himself free, harsh in my eyes, reputation red card 100%

@SkyBlueBen1: Never a red card in a million years #PUSB

@TagaTaylor: No. The only difference is the Brum player acted like he’d been shot by a sniper. If Hamer did the same then the penalty would have been equal. Big price to pay for not play acting.

@MarkMorrison94: No way that’s a red for me

@RefmistakesUK: Hannibal Mejbri should have been sent off for a two footed lunge alongside Gustavo Hamer’s deserved red card. They both should have been off. @BCFC v @Coventry_City (Graham Scott)

@_chancey_: Hannibal wins the ball then gets a boot in the face? Hamer red card all day

@CovcityAussie: Watching this again Hannibal goes in two footed and not in control., grabs hammers legs, but Hamer retaliates. Maybe both get reds 🤔

@whatjamietweets: Missing Hamer again for 3 games, he really needs to sort himself out as he’s letting himself, teammates, club and fans down. He’s equally brilliant as he is a liability 🤦 #PUSB

@armson: Gustavo Hamer now has more cards than we have points

@mrdjmasters: Hamer is trying to get free. They are both kicking their legs and contacting each other hannibal first actually. If one goes, they both go…

@NewboldJrd: Why is he kicking out at players, his temper is ridiculous and getting worse 🤬

@KevinUnitt: Christ sake, embarrassment of a disciplinary record.

@TnsCov: Fine him this is ridiculous

@TheSkyBlueHub: Hannibal kicks Hamer on the ground 🤬

@westofrayne: As soon as he started his shaking his legs that was it, their player took every opportunity to go down, Ref should have blown for a tackle from behind (he booked sheaf for the same). Will the ref over turn – no. Should both have been carded? yes, yellow to both.

@CameronCairns87: Gustavo Hamer switches from hero to villain more than my mood swings. Jesus christ.

@TomUpto94934917: Looking back at the Hamer red card he does kick out twice, needs to keep his cool, except for that I thought we played brilliantly in the first half and had some real good chances #PUSB

@DannyBR01: How has hamer got a red for that.

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