What Sheffield Wednesday boss Neil Thompson said about Liam Shaw's sending off in Birmingham City defeat

Neil Thompson, the Sheffield Wednesday caretaker manager, says teenage midfielder Liam Shaw is ‘devastated’ after being sent off in the hugely disappointing defeat to relegation rivals Birmingham City at Hillsborough this afternoon.

Saturday, 20th February 2021, 6:16 pm

The youngster, who has agreed to join Scottish giants Celtic when his current contract expires in the summer, was shown a second yellow card by referee Lee Mason shortly after half-time for a rash challenge on Maxime Colin.

It was the 19-year-old’s second sending off this season and, remarkably, the Owls’ sixth of a troubled campaign – which is more than they picked up during the whole of 2019/20 when five Wednesday players were red-carded.

And Thompson, speaking to the media after his side’s second defeat in four days, admitted Shaw would have to be ‘more disciplined’ in matches but refused to temper the physical side of the academy product’s game.

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Liam Shaw receives his marching orders in the 1-0 defeat to Birmingham City at Hillsborough this afternoon. Photo: Steve Ellis

"When you’re on a yellow, you run the risk,” he said. “Years ago it’s a tackle and a Birmingham thrown-in.

"You can’t leave the ground. He’s only a little bit off the ground but you’re deemed out of control. The lad’s devastated that he’s been sent off and it impacts as to how we play as a team.

"But it’s part of football, when you make a mistake – whether it’s with the ball or whether you get sent off – you’ve got learn from it and I'm sure he will. He's only a young lad.

"It was just his enthusiasm to go and win the ball. He might have to be a little bit more disciplined in what he does, but at the end of the day you don't want to take that tenacity out of anybody.

"If there's a player who enjoys the physical challenge and that tackling side of the game, you don't have to knock it out of him you just have to be a bit more calculated."

The battle of the relegation sides was settled by former Sheffield United striker Scott Hogan’s tap-in in the 63rd minute and is a huge setback for Thompson’s men as they continue their quest to preserve their Championship status.

It means the Owls will go into the latest round of midweek matches three points adrift of safety ahead of their awkward-looking trip to promotion-chasing Brentford on Wednesday evening.

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