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Hughes said the sending off of Zurab Khizanishvili - which was for bringing down Cisse on the edge of the box - changed the game and Blackburn have appealed against the red card dished out by by referee Mark Halsey.

Hughes told the official site 'We started the game off very brightly. The first thirty minutes we were certainly the more dominant team. Obviously the sending off has changed the complexion of the game.'

Halsey orginally thought the offence was a penalty and it took the assistant ref to correct him.

'As he's going over he's telling my players that it is likely to be a yellow card if he gives the penalty, so he goes over to the assistant to ask for clarification, he gets told that it is outside the area and then he comes back and gives the lad a red card. If he'd have given a penalty would he have sent the lad off? I don't know. The fact he didn't give the penalty made him change his mind and give a red.'

How mad is that?

Hughes continued 'In my mind it wasn't a clear goalscoring opportunity, the lad was going away from the goal, he wasn't bearing down from goal and we had players trying to get back as well.'

Despite picking up our 3rd away defeat Hughes has backed his team:

'Fair play to our players, I thought we were excellent all day, we had to be resolute and we had to be determined not to go under, but to be fair as the game went on I felt the only way we would concede was from a set-piece. I didn't think Liverpool really created anything in general play, no clear-cut opportunities and we looked quite solid. You fear when they get a free-kick on the edge of the box that something might happen for them, and thats what happened. But I can't fault my players, I thought they were excellent, each and every one of them.'

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The Journalist

Writer: Site Staff Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday October 18 2005

Time: 11:32AM


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