Lambert frustrated by delay over Russell verdict

Chris LakeyPaul Lambert says it's 'bizarre' that he will have to wait until lunchtime today before he knows whether he can name one of his key players in Norwich City team tonight.Chris Lakey

Paul Lambert says it's 'bizarre' that he will have to wait until lunchtime today before he knows whether he can name one of his key players in Norwich City team tonight.

Lambert's preparations for the home game against Southend have been disrupted by Darel Russell's sending off against Southampton at the weekend - a decision which infuriated the City boss and prompted an immediate appeal against an automatic three-game ban.

However, instead of suspending his ban for tonight, and then dealing with it later in the week, the FA are expected to review video evidence of the incident this morning - and then let City know their decision.

It means Lambert is left contemplating two scenarios - one with Russell, one without.


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'It's bizarre,' he said. 'The FA will give it a view and give us an answer by tomorrow lunchtime.

'It's weird - I don't know who makes up the rules.

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'You have got to have two different scenarios - but that's the people running the game.'

Last month Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand appealed against a three-game ban for an elbowing incident, and was allowed to play - against Manchester City in the Carling Cup semi-final, second leg - before the appeal was held.

Lambert was expecting the same treatment.

'I don't know how you can have one rule for one and one rule for another - I think that's pathetic actually,' he said.

Lambert made the decision to appeal soon after watching replays of the incident after Saturday's game. Referee Russell Booth showed Russell a straight red after the City man's high boot caught Saints midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin in the chest - although Lambert insisted it was accidental.

And he is confident the FA will see sense and rescind the card.

'If they are on the ball, they should see what everybody else saw,' he said. 'Darel's foot was where the ball was. He couldn't see the lad coming. Everybody in that stadium couldn't believe that decision.

'I think he (Russell) was shell-shocked when he came off - he didn't know why he sent him off.'

Lambert's options should Russell's red card be upheld appear to be recalling Stephen Hughes or Matt Gill.

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