EFL

Carlos Corberan bemoans Brandon Thomas-Asante’s red card in loss to Sunderland

By Sports Desk April 13, 2024

Carlos Corberan was left to rue West Brom striker Brandon Thomas-Asante’s failure to manage the situation after he was handed two quick-fire yellow cards in the first half of his side’s 1-0 defeat to Sunderland at The Hawthorns.

West Brom were reduced to 10 men in the 43rd minute when Thomas-Asante was booked twice in quick succession for fouls on Jack Clarke and Dan Ballard – the latter whose every touch was booed by the home fans after his challenge in the reverse fixture had ruled Josh Maja out for four months.

Albion’s situation worsened further in first half stoppage time when Pierre Ekwah struck the only goal and inflicted a first defeat in 11 matches on the hosts, who are still seeking to confirm their place in the Championship play-offs.

The Baggies were marginally the better side heading towards half-time and with the game goalless, but a dramatic few minutes saw them lose their striker and fall behind.

“The second yellow card had a massive impact. You can have desire, but when you have a yellow card, you need to increase the calm,” Corberan said.

“To concede from a set-piece after losing a player is painful.

“If the referee understood it to be a yellow card, it has been our mistake to achieve two yellow cards. It’s a lesson for Brandon and it’s a lesson for us.

“We haven’t had the experience to play with a player less since I arrived. I know for some teams how much of a disadvantage it can be.

“For me it was unfair that in the first game, they injured Maja. It was a terrible action. It was unbelievable. The player (Ballard) who scored that day injured a player and the referee didn’t send him off or give him a yellow card.

“It was ridiculous – not just because it was against us, I am talking about football. If somebody today breaks their limits with two actions, they’re two yellow cards. When you have a yellow card, you must control yourself.”

Sunderland interim manager Mike Dodds, who guided the Black Cats to only their second victory in 12 with this win, was pleased with Ballard’s application in a testing atmosphere.

The centre-half enjoyed conducting the celebrations with the travelling supporters at the final whistle.

“It can work that way,” Dodds replied, when asked whether the boos could act as a performance stimulus.

“When you have a group like ours, and the opposition fans want to give some stick, they’ll stick up for each other. It brings the group closer together, but Dan is a big boy. He’s an international, he’s a Premier League player in waiting for me. He can take it.

“I was a bit surprised. I am always respectful to the fans, but the first boo did take me by surprise.

“He’s a great kid, Dan. West Brom fans target him, that’s fine, it’s a part of the game. Dan showed today he can handle that side of the game, but I didn’t need today as confirmation.”

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