Boost for Middlesbrough ahead of Sheffield United clash as Matt Crooks sees red card overturned

Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock has been handed a boost ahead of his side’s clash with his former club Sheffield United tomorrow evening after it was confirmed that Matt Crooks’ red card from the weekend has been overturned, allowing him to feature at the Riverside.

Monday, 27th September 2021, 4:34 pm
Updated Monday, 27th September 2021, 6:20 pm

The former Rotherham man was sent off in the dying stages of Boro’s defeat to Reading at the weekend, after a challenge with Royals goalkeeper Luke Southwood was adjudged to have been violent conduct.

Boro have appealed the decision, and Warnock – who had a long spell at his boyhood club United earlier in his career, leading them into the Premiership in 2006 – received confirmation today that it had been overturned, meaning Crooks is available to face the Blades.

An FA statement said: "An independent Regulatory Commission has upheld a claim of wrongful dismissal in relation to Matt Crooks and removed his three-match suspension.

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"The midfielder was sent off for serious foul play in Middlesbrough FC’s game versus Reading FC on Saturday in the EFL Championship."

“I don’t understand it really,” Warnock said this morning, referring to the appeal process.

"I’ve already found out that the referee has said he definitely made a mistake, so if that’s the case, I don’t understand why we have to have committees and commissions really.

“If he’s admitted it’s a mistake and it shouldn’t have been a red, I don’t understand why we have to go through the whole process, but we do.”

Matt Crooks of Middlesbrough will be available to face the Blades tomorrow evening (George Wood/Getty Images)

Boro will be without defender Anfernee Dijksteel with a hamstring injury, while Onel Hernandez is also expected to miss out. But both Marc Bola and Paddy McNair returned from injury against Reading, and played 90 minutes apiece.

“I had made my mind up more or less what my team would be [to face the Blades] on Sunday morning,” Warnock added.

Neil Warnock was left fuming at Matt Crooks' red card in Middlesbrough's defeat to Reading: Jacques Feeney/Getty