Bradford City keeper Duke sees red but he’s not angry at referee (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Bradford City keeper Matt Duke sees red but he’s not angry at referee
Matt Duke reflected on his Wembley red card and admitted: The ref had no choice.
The City keeper is banned for the Dagenham game on Wednesday after being sent off for his professional foul on Jonathan De Guzman.
Phil Parkinson felt referee Kevin Friend could have used his commonsense and let Duke off with a yellow card given that Swansea were already 3-0 up.
But the 35-year-old was realistic enough to know that the Leicester official had to stick by the rules.
Duke said: “I’ve got no complaints. I think it was a little bit harsh because he’d toed it for a goal-kick but the ref’s got to make a decision.
“They can’t use commonsense these days, they have to go by the letter of the law. If he thinks I was the last man then so be it, it’s a red card.”
Duke had his hands full before the dismissal as Swansea stamped their authority on the game from the first whistle.
He added: “We had to be at our best to have a chance. Unfortunately we weren’t and they were magnificent.
“Credit to Swansea. I think they are a fantastic team and completely overran us.
“That can happen against a Premier League team but we’ve got to be proud of what we have done. Hopefully everyone at this club can remember this for a long time.
“Of course it’s a massive disappointment but when we reflect on it, whether that’s in a couple of days, weeks or even a few years time, we’ll see what a fantastic achievement it was to get to the final.
“The fans have had a great day, despite the result, and fingers crossed we’ll be coming back in May to give them another great day.
“We’ve got to get back on the league form and hopefully if we have a good push to the end of the season, there’s no reason why we can’t make the play-offs.”
Rory McArdle raved about the performance of Swansea hitman Michu after the Spaniard’s stunning strike for the second goal.
The centre half returned to the City ranks after recovering from his ankle injury. But he never had a moment’s peace against the lethal Michu and Co.
McArdle said: “If you watched him when they were in possession, he was walking about. Then all of a sudden he explodes when he knows where the ball is.
“Look at his goal and Carl (McHugh) has got him tight. There was only one place that ball could have gone which was through Carl’s legs into the bottom corner but that shows the calibre they’ve got.
“He’s been a breath of fresh air for Swansea with the goals he’s scored. He’s worth every penny they paid for him.”
But McArdle stressed that nobody would be licking their wounds as City headed for a celebration dinner.
He said: “The music was on in the dressing room as it was on the way to Wembley as well.
“We didn’t want it to be a nerve-wracking experience and wanted to enjoy it as much as possible.”