Leeds United suffered yet another disappointing loss yesterday, going down 1-0 to a hard-working Ipswich Town side. What’s more disappointing is that Eunan O’Kane was sent off – a straight red.
It was a game where Leeds United were actually looking to press home early advantage against an Ipswich side that were looking ragged, the Whites creating some good chances and looking threatening.
Eunan O’Kane’s 37th minute dismissal for violent conduct turned all that on its head, Leeds forced to play two-thirds of the game with just 10 men against an organised Ipswich outfit on their own turf.
In his post-match presser, carried by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Thomas Christiansen defended O’Kane to the point of saying that there was “provocation” and that “there’s no evidence that he [O’Kane] goes to him.”
He then added that Ireland international O’Kane “just faced him, there is contact and it is provocation. He [Knudsen] went for that, he got that and the referee fell into that.”
When pressed on the manner of O’Kane in contributing to his dismissal, Christiansen rejected claims that a cameraman had seen the Leeds United midfielder throw a headbutt. The Leeds United head coach responded to these accusations, saying “Prove it. You believe him, I believe my player. One person speaks to you that he saw it, another one shows me a video. In the video that we recorded we see that (no headbutt).”
Well Thomas Christiansen’s video might not have seen it, but the evidence is crystal clear on this video.
— Daryl (@Dazelar29) January 14, 2018
Some Whites fans were saying that it was a push by O’Kane and that there was no contact with his head, that the red card was not warranted. It is likely this line of reasoning that has sent Thomas Christiansen on the defensive and wanting to protect his player to the point of wanting Leeds United to contest the sending off.
I’d not bother.
Fair enough Jonas Knudsen does make the first move, but there is a definite move from O’Kane with his head and definite contact with the Ipswich defender’s face. Yes Knudsen goes down like he’s been taken out by a 50 cal rifle, but that does not mitigate O’Kane’s violent intent.
Thomas Christiansen would be best advising Leeds United not to go through the embarrassment of appealing this sending off. Better to just accept the red, say thank you to the three-game suspension for O’Kane and then just move on.