Sheffield United midfielder Jose Baxter felt the full force of Nigel Adkins’ wrath after receiving a “stupid” red card during last night’s Capital One Cup defeat at Fulham.
The visitors were trailing 2-0 when Baxter was dismissed for a scything challenge on fellow substitute Tom Cairney.
United’s frustration was compounded when Kieran Wallace also received his marching orders for a foul on Moussa Dembele. Although Adkins expressed a degree of sympathy for the young defender - “It was unfortunate, a shame” - he admitted there were no excuses for Baxter’s actions.
“It was a stupid challenge from Jose,” the United manager fumed. “That was the big disappointment for me. I had a few words with Jose in the dressing room afterwards, yes. You won’t be surprised to hear that.”
“Young Kieran has been magnificent for us,” Adkins continued.
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“He had a super game here and then he’s just tugged back on their player and given the referee no option I suppose because he was the last man.
“That was a shame but Jose’s was a stupid challenge. There’s absolutely no getting away from that. And he knows it too.”
United will now be without Baxter for games against Swindon Town, Hartlepool and Colchester.
Adkins made 10 changes for the second round tie at Craven Cottage and his side kept Fulham at bay until just past the hour when Ross McCormack scored the first of his two goals from the penalty spot before Dembele made it 3-0 in added time.
“It’s not about 11 players, it’s about the group, and it’s important we utilise that,” Adkins said. “Because this season is a long hard grind. We’d made the same plans for Saturday (at Swindon) now but, almost certainly, we are going to have to change them now because Jose was part of a winning team in the league.”