Lawrence Walking Suspension Tightrope Ahead of East Anglian Derby
Saturday, 11th Feb 2017 06:00
Blues top scorer Tom Lawrence goes into today’s game at Aston Villa walking a suspension tightrope, the 23-year-old having amassed nine bookings so far this season with a 10th before the second Sunday in March cut-off leading to a two-match ban.
However, his manager Mick McCarthy says the Wales international shouldn’t change his approach at Villa Park this afternoon as he seeks to avoid a caution which would see him Tuesday's match at Brighton and next week’s home game against Leeds, who were keen to sign the on-loan Leicester man in January,
A booking in either of those two games would, more significantly for fans, see him miss the East Anglian derby at Carrow Road the following Sunday.
“He’s been the player he is because he’s done what he does and plays how he does,” McCarthy said. “He plays on the edge, he's feisty, he’s tough. He’s a proper player, Tom.
“I had it myself playing. I think I probably played the game slightly differently to Tom and I went 10 or 15 games and didn’t get that other booking which was going to get me suspended.
“You can’t do anything if you go in for a tackle and the referee sees it [as a yellow card], but you don’t trip anybody up, you don’t pull anybody’s shirt and you don’t argue with the referee, they’re the ones that are just bonkers.
“Getting booked for lipping would be ridiculous at this stage. They’re the ones you can avoid yourself.
“When you’re tackling, sometimes somebody might have a pull at you and then you kick out, that’s self-discipline, that’s managing yourself.
“But you can’t affect it if the referee sees an honest challenge and he books you for it.”
For many of the Town squad today’s game will be their first visit to Villa Park, one of English football’s famous venues but McCarthy says his players need to treat it just like any other match, something he believes they failed to do in similar circumstances earlier in the campaign.
“It’s only special if you get something out of the game, [not] if you turn up at these lovely grounds and get slapped, you want something out of the game.
“We’re professionals and get paid for this game, it’s not about going around enjoying playing on nice surfaces and nice pitches. I can say that now because I’ve finished, ‘I’ve played at some lovely places, I enjoyed a nice career’.
“I don’t want players doing that, when we went to Newcastle I could sense that and we got slapped.”
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