Sunderland intend to appeal against the red card shown to Sebastian Larsson in Sunday’s defeat to Manchester United, according to reports.
The Sweden international was dismissed just before half-time at the Stadium of Light for a challenge of United midfielder Ander Herrera.
Referee Craig Pawson produced a straight red but replays suggested only minimal contact and the Black Cats have decided to contest the decision.
David Moyes’ side, who were 1-0 down at the time, went on to lose 3-0 and remain adrift at the bottom of the Premier League.
Speaking after the match, Moyes indicated both his frustration with the red card and the prospect of appeal.
“We’ll have a look at it,” he said.
“I don’t want to make you think it’s the referee’s fault, it’s not that. But he (Larsson) gets the ball, he touches the ball. There’s no contact at all, so it’s not even a booking. I didn’t think it was a good decision.”
Sunderland striker Victor Anichebe had an even better view of the incident and drew the same conclusion, saying: “At the time, I was right there and I didn’t think it was a sending-off. I think it was more Herrera’s scream that made it a lot worse than it was.
“But these things happen in games. Decisions go against you and at the moment, these decisions are going against us. That seems to be what happens when you are not doing so well.”
Sunday’s defeat was merely the latest disappointment in a season of them on Wearside, but Anichebe is attempting to stay positive as the battle against relegation edges towards make-or-break time.
That moment is almost at hand with the club 10 points adrift of safety with just seven games remaining and their 10-year stay in the top flight in real jeopardy.
“It’s difficult, but that’s life, that’s football,” said Anichebe.
“We need to improve together as a team and we need to keep fighting. We will improve. It can’t get any worse.
“I need to just keep going, the team need to just keep going and we need to just grind out results however we can for the fans who are here.
“They come in their thousands to support us every single week, even though times are really difficult. As much as it’s difficult for them, it’s difficult for us as well, it’s difficult for everybody.”