Quique Sanchez Flores said Nathan Ake has nothing to apologise for and will wait until the cold light of day before deciding if the club will appeal against what will be a three-match ban.
The Spaniard has gained a reputation as one of the most mild mannered and restrained managers on the touchline but even he threw his hands up in the air after Ake was sent off just after the hour mark. He is too diplomatic to publicly critisise referee Anthony Taylor, who dished out yellow cards at a ratio of 4-2, but the disappointment was written all over his face.
“I don’t like to talk about the decisions,” said Sanchez Flores, aware of the fine that accompanies outbursts against match officials. “The decision is the decision.”
He said the club “will need to take a decision” about whether to try and get the red card rescinded or at least the punishment reduced to one match. The length of the ban could decide whether Watford decide to sell Jose Holebas or not. Sanchez Flores said he will put a comforting arm around Ake who was distraught when he trudged off and headed down the tunnel.
“He’s young, he’s disappointed,” said Sanchez Flores. “I will support him more than ever. He’s a very fair player, he plays in a good way. This kind of player you need to love. He went for the ball, sometimes this happens. He doesn’t need to apologise.”
Ake scored his first senior goal in a riotous 3-0 win over Liverpool in the last home game. This afternoon showed how quickly the fortunes of a player and a team can change, Son Heung-min breaking the hearts of the team and the fans with an 89th-minute winner that just compounded the sending off.
“It’s difficult to play with ten players,” said Sanchez Flores. “I’m proud of the players, they fight a lot. They have a big soul and an amazing desire to play against a tough time. The first feeling is sad because we are really close to a point against an amazing team. The line that separates winners and losers is very small.”