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Bell: ‘I won’t knock Rod, but lessons must be learned’

8 March 2023

Lee Bell refused to point the finger at Rod McDonald – but says Crewe Alexandra must stop having players sent off.

The defender was shown a straight red for a high boot at Sutton United on Saturday, making it five dismissals for the team this season.

Manager Bell did not want to criticise McDonald, who has enjoyed an impressive first season with The Railwaymen.

But he admitted everybody must learn lessons to ensure the red cards stop.

“It was a red card, but let's not knock Rod,” said Bell.

“He knows he's done wrong and he will be dealt with, but he's been absolutely superb for this football club.  He’s made an error of judgement, but he didn’t try to boot the lad.”

He added: “Previous to that, we’ve had two for violent conduct, and two for young players who are finding their way in the game.

“Violent conduct is totally unacceptable, a lack of discipline, and I pride myself on discipline. Those players are dealt with severely in-house. 

“But if you look at the four fouls which earned yellow cards (for Sean Robertson and Connor O’Riordan), and therefore got two red cards, they were very, very harsh.

“It’s not like we are running around kicking people. Sean’s was never ever a red card, that was just poor refereeing.

“Connor got his distances wrong and made bad decisions, and he has to learn from it like everybody has to. We have to keep 11 players on the pitch. All red cards are avoidable.”

McDonald will now begin a three-game suspension. O’Riordan will be available for the visit of Salford (Friday, 7.45pm) after serving a one-match ban.


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