Middlesbrough are to claim for the wrongful dismissal of Dani Ayala in the club’s 2-1 home defeat to Preston North End on Wednesday evening.

Middlesbrough confirmed they are set to appeal via their official website, stating they feel it was a ‘wrongful dismissal’.

With Brandon Barker through on goal, Dani Ayala was the covering defender, and slid in to win the ball. However, the referee Keith Stroud deemed the challenge to be reckless, and showed the Spaniard a straight red card.

If that wasn’t bad enough for the home side, Preston then scored from the resultant free kick. Midfielder Paul Gallagher curling the ball around the wall and into the far corner.

As it stands, Ayala will serve a four-match ban due to ‘serious foul play’, and miss games against a flurry of promotion hopefuls. First would be a trip to Villa Park, followed by back to back home games against high flyers Norwich City, and play off chasers Bristol City, before a trip to South Wales where they face Swansea City.

Thankfully for Tony Pulis, Aden Flint has recently come back from injury, with Ryan Shotton and Dael Fry also able to cover if Ayala is to miss the scheduled games.

The claim will be lodged before the 1pm deadline on Friday according to Middlesbrough’s official site, and the Disciplinary Panel will review before the weekend’s away game against Aston Villa.

Boro will be hoping for a full strength side, as they suffered their heaviest defeat of the season earlier this campaign against Saturday’s opponents, losing 3-0 at The Riverside.

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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook

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