17 July 2024

A Premier League Love Story Has Heartbreak Ahead - The New York Times

John Mousinho insists he has issue’ with Joe Morrell over the fourth red card of his Pompey career.

The influential midfielder collected two bookings in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Peterborough, culminating in his 85th-minute dismissal.

It’s a frustratingly familiar trend for the Wales international, who was sent off twice last season – against Fleetwood (January) and then MK Dons (April).

In addition, he collected his maiden Pompey red card at Oxford United in February 2022.

Overall, that’s four dismissals in 82 appearances since the 26-year-old’s arrival from Luton in August 2021.

John Mousinho - Wikipedia

Morrell now faces a one-match ban – but his head coach refused to round on the midfielder following his latest indiscretion.

Mousinho told The News: ‘I have no issue with Joe at all.

‘You are always going to get red cards, we understand that, and it’s just cutting out the silly, petulant ones – and that wasn’t one against Peterborough.

‘I didn’t see the first yellow, I spoke to Joe about it and he agreed it was. With the second one, he said he was trying to run across to get back into him and he has clipped his heels.

Joe Morrell interview: 'Playing in a World Cup seemed impossible when I was  at bottom of the National League'

‘He’s obviously gutted about that because I guess it’s what people often say about him picking up red cards.

‘After MK Dons last year, my message to Joe was I don’t mind if you pick up red cards as long as they are for the right things.

‘Saturday wasn’t one of those where he has kicked out at anyone, he’s not done anything stupid, he didn’t go to ground on a booking, he has just been really unlucky.

‘MK Dons was an example of a red card for the wrong things, such as off-the-ball incidents and losing his head when it’s not in play. These are things I don’t want to see.

‘Joe is obviously upset, but we go into the Derby game without him – and then straight into Barnsley when he’s back in contention.’

Thankfully Morrell’s dismissal didn’t prevent the Blues claiming a well-deserved win over Peterborough.

Admittedly there was some gutsy defending from the 10 men, but they came through unscathed.

Mousinho added: ‘Credit to the boys, Peterborough had a couple of opportunities at that point and the physical output we had going into that game meant we were a bit tired towards the end.

‘We had to go to two flat four, which was an interesting period of the game, especially when you’re facing a good side like that.

‘Peterborough are a really good team, I think they’ll be challenging for those play-off places at the very least.’

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