Premiership: Speed appeals after dismissal

Newcastle midfielder Gary Speed is to appeal against the sending off which could keep him out of the first three games of next season.

Newcastle midfielder Gary Speed is to appeal against the sending off which could keep him out of the first three games of next season.

The Wales skipper was dismissed by referee Barry Knight along with Villa midfielder Ian Taylor after a clash late in Saturday’s 3-0 win for the Magpies at St James’ Park.

It was the first red card of Speed’s career, and he admitted that, if the decision is not reversed, it will ruin the close season for him.

‘‘This is almost too horrible to contemplate,’’ he admitted. ‘‘The first game of any season is always special and it will be awful if I have to sit it out because of what happened on Saturday.

‘‘I have seen a video of the incident and it was nothing really. I didn’t throw a punch or anything like that and I’m gutted at being sent off.

‘‘It’s the first time I have ever been sent off in my career and it was all so disappointing in the circumstances. It will ruin my summer.’’

United boss Bobby Robson could well do without losing Speed, who is due for fresh contract talks this week amid speculation that newly-promoted Fulham are on his trail, as a fresh selection headache brews.

Skipper Alan Shearer is unlikely to make the start of the new campaign after surgery on his knee injury, while Kieron Dyer, Rob Lee and Andy Griffin have also had operations and Clarence Acuna has been ordered to rest his damaged knee for up to three months.

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