Paul Cook has reiterated his belief that Wigan Athletic captain Sam Morsy’s reputation counts against him after confirming he will appeal the Egyptian’s red card at Brentford on Saturday.
Morsy was red-carded just before the hour mark of the 2-0 defeat at Griffin Park - a result the home side fully deserved for their almost-total superiority before and after Morsy’s departure.
But Cook admitted after the game his initial thought was that the aerial collision between Morsy and Brentford’s Yoann Barbet was accidental rather than malicious.
As things stand, Morsy will be suspended for the home games against Hull on Tuesday and Bristol City on Friday, as well as the trip to Norwich on September 29.
But after studying the video on Sunday, he says the club have contacted the authorities to review the footage.
“Without a doubt we’ll be appealing it,” the Latics boss revealed.
“I’ve watched it back, and I can genuinely say that my initial thought on Saturday was exactly how it was.
“For me, it was a genuine clash of heads - and totally accidental.
“You’ve got to look then at the reaction of the Brentford players coming across...one, two, three of them showing the referee their elbow.
“There’s was no elbow involved at all!
“It was a genuine clash of heads, and Sammy’s got there a split second after the Brentford boy.
“From there, everything else has taken its course, and the red card has come out.
“Look, these are split-second incidents, and by the time we’ve all watched it back we’ve all got our opinions.
“The referee has a split-second to make that call on the field.
“And I did feel on Saturday that the Brentford players, the crowd and everything else influenced that decision.
“I’m sure the referee will surely say that no-one influenced him, and he’ll believe he got it right at the time.
“But I’m sure that when he comes to look at it again, I’d be quite confident he’d have a different opinion on the incident.”
Cook also went one step further, repeating his fear first aired last season - when Morsy became the first player in England to reach five bookings, and an automatic one-game ban - that his captain is a marked man with officials.
“All players have reputations that go before them to some degree,” acknowledged Cook.
“For example, Jack Grealish will get fouled every week, and get judged on that.
“I’m sure, somewhere in games, what players have done before will go against them.
“Referees prepare well for games just as players do, and managers do.
“Has Sammy’s reputation gone before him? I honestly can’t answer that, only the referee can.
“But what we can do is appeal the decision, everybody will then have their say.
“And we’ll be dead happy with the outcome, whatever it is.
“If the powers that be tell me that, yes, it is a red card, I would have no problem with that.
“We will accept whatever decision that comes back and move on.”
Cook certainly didn’t feel the reaction of the Brentford players - some of whom were straight into the face of the official - helped his midfielder.
“I don’t want to say anything that will fuel Brentford to react,” added Cook.
“I genuinely feel we got beat on Saturday by a better side, we shake hands after and we move on.
“But was the reaction of the Brentford players huge in getting Sammy sent off? For me it was.
“And if that has any way influenced him to make his decision then he’s got it wrong.
“I said straight after the game that if my view of the incident was wrong, I’d come out and apologise - and I’d have had no problem doing that.
“I repeat, Brentford played ever so well on the day and deserved their win.
“I’m not criticising them in any way, shape or form.
“What I am saying is, in that split second, it is Sammy Morsy...
“Their lad’s gone down, he’s holding his head.
“Sammy banged his head as well, but he’s managed to stay on his feet. And I’m not being disrespectful in saying that, because I want all players to be looked after.
“I just want the match officials to get the big decisions right, and to me it is what it is - an accidental clash of heads.”