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04th Dec 2016

Preston boss reacts to Eoin Doyle and Jermaine Beckford’s on-field altercation

Profoundly disappointed

Ben Kiely

Preston North End manager Simon Grayson did not approve of his players’ actions during their loss to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Eoin Doyle had some day at the office in the match. He entered the game as a substitute in the 81st minute with his side trailing 2-0. One minute later, his name was on the scoresheet as he pulled one back for the Lilywhites. However, any hopes of a comeback were dissipated a few minutes later when both he and his teammate Jermaine Beckford received their marching orders for fighting each other on the pitch.

It appeared as though the altercation started when Doyle failed to play in Beckford, which didn’t go down well with the former Leeds striker. A heated exchange ensued and hands were raised until their fellow players and the referee intervened to break it up.

Unsurprisingly, the man in the middle decided to flash the red card to both players, ending their involvement in the match which in turn sealed the result for Sheffield Wednesday.

After the game, Grayson slammed the actions of both men in an interview with BBC Lancashire. He criticised their involvement in the incident, likening it to something you might see from young children on a playground.

“It’s an absolute embarrassment. I stick up for my players at every club I’ve been at, I don’t like to criticise them in public, I will do in the dressing room. But I can’t stick up for either of those players.”

“You expect it in the playground between four or five-year-olds, not from two professionals who’ve been in the game a long time.”

He was particularly upset with the timing of the double-sending off as it happened just when the team had gathered some momentum and were chasing down a result.

“They’ve let themselves down, but that’s the least of it. They’ve let our supporters down who’ve travelled here, and ultimately cost us the potential of getting a point or maybe three points because 11 against 10 we were on top and we had them.

“For something like that to happen is embarrassing. It’s a joke, it’s a disgrace.”

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