Simon: “It feels like a victory”
Simon Grayson was delighted with his team after they played for almost an hour at the Valley with ten men and stole a point late on courtesy of Adam Clayton's penalty.
“It feels like a victory," said Simon. "It was difficult playing with ten men for so long, but credit to the players; they played with their heads and not their hearts.
“We had to stick to a game plan; it was all about staying in the game because we knew we would get an opportunity.”
Town were harshly reduced to ten men when Keith Southern was shown a red for a challenge with Michael Morrison, which killed the game as a spectacle.
“It changed the outlook of the game, up until the red card it was an entertaining game, one which we started well. It ruined the game as a spectacle because we had to be negative to get something out of it. However, we have got the rewards from our hard work.
“It was a staggering decision,” Simon continued. “Keith Southern is a fully committed player who has gone in for challenges like that all season and nine times out of ten hasn't received a yellow card. Keith won the ball and then rebounded on to the player; the Charlton player said to Keith that he had made a good challenge – it is staggering. We will definitely appeal to try and get the decision overturned.
“The referee described it as dangerous play, but it wasn’t. If Keith had gone in half-hearted he could have got seriously hurt, if he had pulled out of it he would have been substituted at half-time for pulling out of a challenge. Decisions like the one today can influence parts of the season, when you don’t need them, or, deserve them. We might end up going into a very tough period of our season without Keith Southern – it was a disappointing performance by the referee.”
Town had to play almost an hour with ten men and stayed well in the game, which allowed them to steal a point from the spot when Peter Clarke was kicked in the head by Chris Solly.
“We had to make sure that we stayed in the game, I didn’t want us to go gung-ho, but I wanted us to still have attacking outlets. We kept our shape very well, which is something that we have worked hard on. We were disappointed with the goal that we conceded because even with ten men we should have prevented it. We should deal with that situation better.
On the penalty decision, Simon said: “I wasn’t really too sure as to why we had been awarded the penalty. I am not too sure if we would have got that decision if we hadn’t already had one go against us. Adam (Clayton) is very composed and I think he has been excellent this season. He said afterwards that there was never any danger of him missing it.”
Strike duo Jermaine Beckford and James Vaughan didn’t travel for Town and Simon was unsure as to their availability ahead of Middlesbrough on Tuesday.
“Sean Scannell trained on Thursday and Friday, but woke up this morning and felt that his hamstring was a little bit tight and we didn’t want to risk him. Jermaine Beckford trained on Tuesday and tweaked his hamstring slightly. James Vaughan is making good progress, but I don’t know if he will be fit for Tuesday, everyone will find out then.”
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