(Reuters) – Watford plan to appeal against the red card shown to Jose Holebas in their 4-1 Premier League defeat by West Ham United in the hope their defender will be allowed to face Manchester City in Saturday’s FA Cup final, manager Javi Gracia has said.
Holebas was sent off at the start of the second half of Sunday’s game for a foul on Michail Antonio that denied West Ham a clear goalscoring opportunity and is set to miss the final as a result.
“We will appeal the red card,” Gracia told reporters. “It made it impossible for us and for a player to miss the FA Cup final based on that contact is not right.
“I prefer to be respectful to the referee’s decision and I prefer, at this moment, to not say what I’m thinking about that. In my opinion, I can’t believe one player will miss the final for that contact. I can’t believe it.
“Maybe it’s a foul, soft foul, light foul but I can be angry with that decision. In this moment it’s difficult to accept knowing you have an important game next week.”
The 34-year-old Holebas has been an integral part of Gracia’s side this season, making 28 league appearances and three more in the FA Cup.
A Watford victory in Saturday’s final would secure a place in next season’s Europa League for Gracia’s side.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)