Chis Basham will not face further sanction from Sheffield United after being sent-off at Scunthorpe last weekend.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s game against Bristol Rovers, which marks the start of the midfielder’s three match ban, Chris Wilder revealed he has instructed club officials not to hold an internal investigation into events surrounding Basham’s red card during Saturday’s 2-2 draw.
Wilder, who yesterday confirmed United would not be appealing referee Darren Deadman’s decision, nevertheless believes Basham’s “honest” challenge on Neal Bishop had been misinterpreted by the officials.
“We’ve got codes of conduct here that we adhere to ourselves,” Wilder said. “But I’m not going to punish the boy for making an honest tackle. If he’s ‘topped’ him or gone in two-footed then, okay, that’s a different matter and it’s something we would look at. But that definitely wasn’t the case here.”
Explaining why, despite arguing Basham had been harshly treated by Deadman, he refused to request an FA review, United’s manager added: “There’s quite a lot of games between Al (assistant Alan Knill), (goalkeeping coach) Darren Ward and the rest of the coaching staff here. We had a meeting in the morning and just decided that there was no point.
“We have the ability to go in and mark the referee with the secretary here on a Monday morning. But these things happen. Referees, like managers and players, can have off days as well. To be fair, I think the officials have been okay this season and I’ve never had a problem with Darren. But, like I say, we just feel he’s made a poor decision there.”
United, who enter the meeting with Rovers seventh in the League One table but only four points behind leaders Scunthorpe, will also be without Basham for games against Fleetwood Town and Walsall.
“I don’t think tackling should go out of the game,” Wilder said. “I thought both boys went honestly for the ball. You can’t always time a tackle 100 per cent and I don’t think Basham has that in his game to hurt someone. To be fair, I don’t think Neal Bishop has either because he’s a pretty straight forward type of player. There was no intention like that there.”
Basham’s absence means United could be forced to reshuffle their defence unless Jake Wright and James Wilson recover from the injuries which ruled them out of the visit to north Lincolnshire.
“It put us on the back foot but, as I’ve said all along, if you want to be successful, you have to get results in all different ways,” Wilder said. “We showed those characteristics on Saturday.”