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Anger as Ireland's Alan Browne sent off

Preston boss Alex Neil was furious with the decision.

Preston North End's Alan Browne (centre) is sent off for a foul.
Preston North End's Alan Browne (centre) is sent off for a foul.
Image: PA

NEIL WARNOCK did not want to be drawn into a row over referee Oliver Langford’s decision to issue a red card to Preston’s Alan Browne on a night when Middlesbrough claimed a 2-0 Championship win to stay in touch with the top six.

Boro were in front after 22 minutes when North End defender Jordan Storey sliced Yannick Bolasie’s cross into his own net.

But Browne was dismissed after appearing to kick out at Middlesbrough midfielder Sam Morsy with nine minutes remaining of the first half, having reacted to an arm hitting him in the face.

Preston boss Alex Neil was furious with the decision and he was issued with a red card of his own at half-time when he entered the play to protest to Langford.

After the restart Marcus Tavernier headed in Middlesbrough’s second to wrap up the points five minutes into the second half.

On Browne’s red card, Warnock said: “I’ll have to do an Arsene Wenger. It was the least of my worries at half-time and full-time so I’ve not even seen it.

“I heard them complaining on the bench but the ref had a good view.

“It’s difficult playing against 10 men, for whatever reason they become more solid. We played some good stuff in the second half.”

The victory lifted Boro to within five points of sixth-placed Barnsley and fifth-placed Reading.

Warnock added: “The hardest thing in football is to win two games on the trot in a short space of time.

“I knew when I saw Preston had lost at Wycombe (last time out) there would be a response. It was what we saw.

“We had a bit of luck tonight, we haven’t had much in the last six months.

“In the second half, it’s difficult to play against 10 men but we didn’t concede anything, the two centre-halves were magnificent.”

Neil was not so pleased. He was still fuming at the decision to send Browne off when Preston had started the game promisingly and he was even more angered by Langford’s reaction to his protestations.

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His side have dropped down to 16th in recent months after a decent start to the campaign but now they have won just one of their last eight matches; losing four in a row away from Deepdale.

Neil said: “If someone hits you twice then there is no doubt he is the bigger aggressor than my player. I would have felt aggrieved still with two reds, I think Sam is the instigator.

“You can debate Alan’s involvement after that. He is not an innocent party. I have seen instances like that before, the fact we got a red and they got nothing beggars belief.

“I consciously went and spoke to the ref and didn’t raise my voice, didn’t swear, what I said was: ‘You will be disappointed when you see it at half-time. You have stopped us trying to win the game. That is because you made a bad decision.’

“His next line then is: ‘You will spend the second half in the stand’.

“I have never been sent off in my managerial career.

“It’s frustrating when you don’t get anywhere near the right calls in the game. I wanted him to be aware of my opinion. The ref has stopped us from potentially getting three points.”

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