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Bradford Park Avenue told to clean up act by assistant Mark Hume
Park Avenue's Paul Beesley, right, puts in a challenge in the 4-1 defeat to Stockport. Picture by John Rhodes
Assistant manager Mark Hume has called for more discipline from his Bradford Park Avenue players to stamp out the ‘needless bookings’ that are leading to suspensions.
Hume, whose side lost 4-1 at Stockport County on Boxing Day, is aware that sometimes ‘taking one for the team’ is a necessary evil but he has urged his charges to be less reckless.
He said: “We are getting a lot of bookings and it is costing us.
“Don’t get me wrong, I was no angel myself when I played regularly but I don’t think I ever got booked for dissent.
“We want to see that desire and controlled aggression. Me and John (Deacey) expect that and the supporters want to see it.
“Sometimes you have to make a challenge even if you’re a bit late and you don’t think you are going to get there. That is part of the game. It breaks up play and can just buy you a minute or two to reorganise.
“That’s fine and sometimes you are going to get a yellow card.
“But you don’t need to dive in and give silly free-kicks away all over the pitch. We are getting yellow cards for fouls in and around the opposition’s area and that is totally unnecessary.”
The Boxing Day defeat was their fourth on the bounce in the league. Injuries have left Avenue stretched and Hume admits they can ill-afford to make things worse with suspensions, especially if they are down to needless dissent.
He said: “Our squad is small enough and if we get one suspension here and there it hurts but that’s expected. All squads will get that.
“But we can’t afford to have two or three out.
“I know players give a bit of back-chat to referees but they have to know when to keep their mouth shut. They should just get on with it and leave the arguing with the officials to me and John.
“You won’t change a ref’s mind by having a go but you can make yourself heard from the touchline and approach the officials in a calm manner at half-time or full time. It’s the only way you can get your point across.
“James Knowles was out for a two-match ban and then back for a game and then out for the Boxing Day game. You can’t pick a team and get any momentum going like that.
“Mind you, I’m not saying Knowlesy brought that on himself. He was very unfortunate against Kidderminster to get two bookings in a couple of minutes. I didn’t think either was a yellow-card offence.
“The first was ridiculous because he got pushed to the floor and then booked for being aggressive. How can you be aggressive when it’s you that has been pushed to the floor?
“But the odd unjust yellow card wouldn’t matter. One poor refereeing decision wouldn’t count if the players weren’t already on four yellows for silly tackles or back-chat.”
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