Norwich City accept FA charge over fracas with Sheffield United

Norwich City have accepted an FA charge of failing to control their players following a stoppage time fracas in last week's 4-2 Championship home win over Sheffield United.

The Canaries declined a personal hearing but have sent a letter of mitigation in response to a charge of mass confrontation.

Both clubs had until yesterday to answer the charge but an FA spokesman last night confirmed if Sheffield United request a personal hearing that is scheduled to take place no later than January 10.

Norwich could face a fine for their role in the ugly incident which saw both sets of outfield players become embroiled in a melee which resulted in a straight red card for Blades' midfielder Stephen Quinn.

Republic of Ireland international Quinn was dismissed by referee Phil Crossley following the late flashpoint shortly after Wes Hoolahan had secured the points for Paul Lambert's side by completing his second-half hat-trick.

Both assistant referees were forced to enter the field of play to help restore order in a skirmish that also saw Norwich defender Russell Martin end up on the ground holding his face.

Quinn and Martin continued their verbal exchange as the Irishman headed for the tunnel in a match which saw Crossley produce four yellow cards and two penalties, in addition to the sending-off.

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United goalscorer Andy Reid has already accepted a separate charge of violent conduct for his role in the stoppage time spat and is currently serving a three-match ban.

Norwich's latest brush with the FA's disciplinary panel comes in the wake of central defender Leon Barnett's extra two-game ban for improper conduct following an incident in the Championship fixture earlier this month against Portsmouth at Carrow Road.

Barnett returned for the battling New Year draw at Middlesbrough, having missed the festive home wins over Sheffield United and QPR after admitting a charge relating to a ball-throwing incident in the wake of his sending-off.

City boss Paul Lambert was given a two-match touchline ban after the televised Reading game which also saw skipper Grant Holt dismissed prior to the FA later rescinding his red card on appeal.

Sheffield United, along with Hull City, still face another FA charge relating to a mass confrontation during their Boxing Day fixture at Bramall Lane which saw Tigers' midfielder Jimmy Bullard snatch a stoppage-time winner after Ched Evans' brace had cancelled out Hull's 2-0 lead.

• Norwich past and present continue to be linked with the managerial vacancy at Burnley.

Bookmakers Victor Chandler last week reported 'significant money' placed on City boss Paul Lambert in the initial aftermath of Brian Laws' exit.

Now ex-City stalwart Malky Mackay has been installed at the head of the market following his success in guiding Watford into the top half this season on limited finances. Mackay is currently priced at 5/2 with Lambert and ex-Bolton manager Sam Allardyce available at 7/2.