Irvine feels pressure after Potter red card

Jermaine Johnson
Jermaine Johnson
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ALAN Irvine last night pointed to Darren Potter’s sending-off at Peterborough as the key moment that turned high hopes of an important win into the bitterness of defeat.

The Owls manager, who could now be under even greater pressure, was pleased with the way his team played in building a 3-2 lead and looking as if they could go on to win.

But Potter’s dismissal in the 69th minute changed the game and they crashed 5-3.

Irvine said the result was “bitterly disappointing.”

“I felt as if we were comfortable until the sending-off,” he said. “That made a huge difference.”

Potter was dismissed for a foul committed on an opponent who was going for goal in a counter-attack, and the midfielder was judged to be the last man.

Irvine added: “I wasn’t surprised it was a red card. I wouldn’t have been totally surprised if it was yellow. Another referee might have felt there was a covering defender. But I wasn’t surprised it was red.

“I still don’t believe we should have lost three goals after going down to 10 men. The way we defended those was very disappointing.

“But at 3-2, with 11 men on the pitch, I felt very comfortable.”

Jermaine Johnson, who scored and had a sparkling first half, stayed off at half time because of a hamstring problem.

“He’d been a real threat. It was a terrific performance from him in the first half,” said Irvine.

The Owls manager said that to end the club’s lean run the aim was to “keep working hard, keep working away. Hopefully things will turn around”.

But he accepts that there is speculation about his future.

“I’ve been well aware I’ve been under pressure. My job has been talked about at every single press conference in recent weeks. Of course I feel under pressure.”